25th April 2023

Last year, we invited Julius Cesar Alejandre and Emily Stevenson to work with BSAC and Baroness Natalie Bennett as part of our new Parliamentary Internship Programme. As we head into Spring, Emily updates us on how they’re getting on in Westminster and sets out their priorities for the months ahead.

Julze and I have been working with Baroness Bennett, her team and colleagues at BSAC for 6 months, and are both absolutely delighted to have had our internship extended for another 6 months. Before we proceed with all of the exciting plans we have for expanding our work and impact, it’s important to reflect on all we have already achieved and had unique opportunities to experience.

Our team was very keen to incorporate social inequalities linked to the AMR crisis and look at environmental and clinical implications. As a result, I led two recently published articles investigating the exposure route of farmers to AMR microbes due to their profession and also highlighting on ‘World Health Day’ the socio-demographic determinants of AMR in the UK. The latter article was inspired by the Government’s response to a written question we had submitted asking what steps the Government are taking to monitor and mitigate the impact of antimicrobial resistance on marginalised communities in the UK, including (1) people of migrant, refugee or asylum seeker status, (2) prisoners, and (3) homeless people.

In addition to physical outputs, we have had some phenomenal networking opportunities that not only aid our own career development but meant we can represent and vocalise the importance of One Health in AMR policy discussions. For example, I was able to attend the launch of the APPG for WASH inquiry report event in the Houses of Parliament, and also the Westminster Health Forum policy conference on ‘Next steps for tackling antimicrobial resistance’. Also, we were able to join briefing meetings in the House of Lords to discuss a recent Lancet paper and meet with the AMR policy leads at the Department for Health and Social Care to discuss the new UK AMR National Action Plan.

One of the larger projects we’ve been working on is a consultation and resulting Green Paper document exploring the idea of eco-directed prescribing of antimicrobials in the UK. As part of this, we hosted an expert consultation in the House of Lords office, and are now crafting the report output as a final goal for our placement.

Looking ahead, as well as finalising our Green Paper, we also hope to publish a short communication exploring the socio-economic determinants of AMR. In addition, I am currently developing a tool which will hopefully be valuable for academics, policymakers and other key stakeholders in highlighting key developments in the AMR policy landscape.

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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