The veterinary and medical professions must find new ways to spread the message about antimicrobial resistance, the Bella Moss Foundation (BMF) has claimed.

The pet owner and infection control charity’s message came in response to recent calls for drugs companies to invest £1.3b in new antibiotics and the announcement that £5m would be given in research grants to the universities of Warwick and Cambridge.

The charity stated it was supportive of more investment in the antibiotics of the future, but that the professions need to find new ways of getting those messages across. 

Calling on the vet and medical professions to work towards a new educational approach, BMF adviser and RVC academic David Lloyd said: “New antibiotics will not appear over-night. In the meantime, we must all stick to the back to basics message of getting doctors and vets to use antibiotics responsibly, educating the public about antibiotic use and maintaining good basic hygiene standards – but vets and medics need to get smarter here.

“Just delivering the same old message on hygiene won’t work – it hasn’t worked – so we need to develop ways of ensuring that good practice is implemented on a daily basis, by busy people. 

This requires medics, vets and their clients to actively buy into the concept. In my view, this requires a new educational approach aimed at both students and practitioners.

“Persuading clinicians to actually implement guidelines for hygiene and antimicrobial use is difficult and there is a fair amount of research describing failure to implement such guidelines – both in human and veterinary medicine.

“In the UK we need to commission new research to examine the different methods of education – including those used by the Swedes – to determine the best approach and then roll this out not just in the UK, where pilot studies could be done, but also in Europe and other regions.”

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