Antimicrobial resistance

2.22. Although the number of antibiotic prescriptions dispensed in primary care has reduced by 13.2% in five years (between 2013 and 2017), further progress is required. The health service will continue to support implementation and delivery of the government’s new five-year action plan on Antimicrobial Resistance. We will continue to optimise use, reduce the need for and unintentional exposure to antibiotics, as well as supporting the development of new antimicrobials. We will ensure access to old and new treatments, preventative measures (including vaccines) and appropriate tools (including diagnostics and electronic prescribing in both hospitals and community settings). And we will continue to support system-wide improvement, surveillance, infection prevention and control practice, and antimicrobial stewardship, ensuring resources are available for clinical expertise and senior leadership at all levels.