BSAC calls for Minister to tackle superbugs and pandemics in response to inquiry on COVID-19 impact

17th June 2020

BSAC has made three key recommendations in its response to the UK Parliament’s Health and Social Care Select Committee’s inquiry, “Delivering Core NHS and Care Services during the Pandemic and Beyond”

Many of the infection specialists BSAC represents help to deliver core NHS and care services. There is a feeling widespread among such specialists that approaches to viral pandemic (in this instance, the coronavirus and COVID-19) should be combined with ongoing efforts to contain and control drug- resistant infection (both of which feature in the World Health Organization’s top 10 threats to global health).

Consequently, BSAC’s response points to three interventions that address both concerns while significantly supporting the delivery of health services as we come out of “lockdown” (during the next 12 to 24 months), and the building of a more resilient health service for when we experience the next pandemic (possibly within the next 3 to 5 years).

These are BSAC’s proposed interventions:

BSAC feels that each of these interventions would help to address one, or all, of the following concerns that have arisen, or been aggravated, by the emergence of COVID-19:

  • Failure to diagnose serious bacterial infection
  • Impact on patient outcomes of hospital acquired infection / co-infection / secondary bacterial infection
  • Spikes in inappropriate antibiotic use, accelerating the rate of drug-resistant infection (it is suspected that antimicrobial stewardship (AMS) activity was compromised during the height of the pandemic in both primary and secondary care settings)
  • Effective shielding of the most vulnerable patients
  • Access to the best-available drugs for bacterial infection
  • Lack of leadership, visibility, and accountability, in protecting the public and services against the threat of infectious disease.

For details about these proposed interventions, please see the full response here.

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