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In a new report the Authority says that while progress has been made “the level of progress identified varied across the country, with some smaller hospitals not having safe and sustainable measures in place to protect patients”.
HIQA also said more effective national planning and coordination is required.
“We identified that a number of hospitals need urgent support from the national Health Service Executive (HSE) in this area, as they do not have an antimicrobial stewardship programme in place and lack specialized resources,” said Mr Sean Egan, HIQA’s Acting Head of Healthcare Regulation.
“This is a significant patient safety concern and should be reviewed as a matter of urgency by the HSE.”
In response the HSE welcomed the report.
“The HIQA report has acknowledged some of the good work that is already well-established to address the ongoing threat of AMR and promote antimicrobial stewardship,” said the HSE.
“However, the report has also identified opportunities for improvement, which the HSE will actively address. These include the need for additional support to develop their antimicrobial stewardship and infection prevention and control programmes and to ensure implementation of existing national guidelines on control of AMR.
“In particular, there is a need to further improve the antimicrobial stewardship and infection prevention and control workforce in the smaller Irish hospitals, particularly models 2 and 3 hospitals and to develop a designated antimicrobial stewardship and infection prevention and control workforce in the community and non-acute healthcare services.”