28th July 2022

The recent GRAM report laid bare the grim toll of antimicrobial resistance (AMR) around the world, estimating it was associated with 4.95 million deaths in 2019. It also makes clear that AMR is a global problem; one that requires a global response. It is in this context that BSAC is launching a new Global Antimicrobial Stewardship Accreditation Scheme (GAMSAS), which aims to tackle AMR by supporting and accrediting effective antimicrobial stewardship programmes around the world. In this article, Dr Jacqueline Sneddon, Programme Manager for GAMSAS, explains how the scheme works, why it has the potential to be such a game changer, and how you can get involved…

Like all accreditation schemes, GAMSAS is based on achieving a set of pre-defined standards. We have developed the GAMSAS standards drawing on published standards and checklists from around the world. The GAMSAS standards focus on antimicrobial stewardship (AMS) systems, processes and outputs but also include supporting services, namely microbiology laboratory provision and Infection Prevention and Control practice. The aim of GAMSAS is to support healthcare organizations to build and sustain robust and measurable AMS programmes including support to enable them to contribute to local, national, and global data collection/surveillance which is a key ambition within the WHO AMR action plan. The vision of GAMSAS is to develop and sustain centres of excellence around the world to facilitate the mentorship of others and spread AMS within regions and countries.

How do you think this will help combat AMR?

Overuse and misuse of antimicrobials is the key driver of AMR therefore changing behaviour around how we use antimicrobials is a key action in tackling it. Implementation of robust AMS programmes is recognised as an important gap in ensuring prudent and responsible use of antimicrobials. While National Action Plans globally call out a requirement for AMS, in many settings this has not translated into action and through a collaborative approach, GAMSAS can help to address this.

What role do AMS experts play? 

Within GAMSAS we will utilise AMS experts to support hospital teams within their local region to provide the information required for the accreditation process, undertake external assessor roles for hospitals in other parts of the world and sit on formal accreditation panels.

Why should BSAC members consider applying?  

BSAC recently issued a call for AMS experts to support the GAMSAS programme and we have been delighted to already have received many applications from healthcare professionals across the globe. We support a multi-professional approach so will be engaging medical, pharmacy, nursing and laboratory staff with expertise in AMS to support others and this will also benefit their own personal development. 

How to apply?

Anyone interested in working with us as an AMS expert can find out more via our website.

How about applying for accreditation?

Our initial window for organisations to apply for accreditation will be open from 1st September – 31st October 2022. Those interested in applying will require to register via the website and complete an initial screening questionnaire that will be considered by the BSAC team.

GP? Pharmacist? Researcher? Social Scientist? Whatever field you work in, if you’re committed to fighting infection then we want you to join us as a BSAC Member.
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