Antimicrobial stewardship ward rounds and phone advice are fundamental to improvement of infection treatment and prevention in hospitals. In response to a local and national shortage of consultant medical microbiologists, a pharmacist-led antimicrobial stewardship service was established.


Antimicrobial stewardship interventions in a large regional hospital were analysed from 8 January 2018 to 14 March 2019. Collaborative ward rounds were conducted with infection prevention and control nurses, and microbiology staff when available. Ad hoc ward rounds and phone interventions (via a dedicated “antibiotic advice hotline”) were also conducted, with most referrals coming from junior doctors and ward pharmacists. The commonest clinical areas visited were elderly care, respiratory and general surgery.


1507 antimicrobials were reviewed from 1006 interventions (16 per week). Antimicrobials most reviewed were piperacillin/tazobactam (n=152; 10%), metronidazole (n=152), co-amoxiclav (n=140; 9%), teicoplanin (n=137, 9%) and gentamicin (n=116; 8%). The commonest organisms were Escherichia coli (n=115), Staphylococcus aureus (n=95) and Clostridium difficile (n=52). The most common recommendations were intravenous to oral switch (n=185; 18%), continue (n=175; 17%), escalate (n=136; 14%) and review dose (n=97; 10%). Antimicrobials were optimised for discharge in 270 cases, through oral switch, home intravenous antimicrobial referral or cessation.


The results demonstrate the value of novel antimicrobial stewardship approaches that are required in today’s NHS given shifts in staff availability and recognising advanced clinical practice among non-medical staff. Future planned interventions will focus on improving the home intravenous antimicrobial referral and review process.

  • This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License.

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