© PAUSE 2007
Thursday, 22nd June 2017


The issues of antibiotics resistance and the need for better education of prescribers have been increasingly recognised as top public health priorities over the past decade. At the international level, the European Commission has funded dedicated surveillance networks for prescribing (http://www.esac.ua.ac.be) and resistance (http://www.rivm.nl/earss). The World Health Organisation and other key stakeholders have made similar investments into improved international surveillance and the Alliance for Prudent Use of Antibiotics has become a powerful advocate for the public and professionals to take action (http://www.apua.org). However, these initiatives need to be supported by parallel developments in undergraduate and postgraduate education around prudent antibiotic prescribing.

In the UK, the Department of Health and the Scottish Executive have both identified prudent antibiotic prescribing as one of three key elements in their antibiotic resistance strategies and action plans (alongside infection control and surveillance). Also the House of Lords Select Committee on Science and Technology identified undergraduate medical education as an important target for action.{House of Lords Select Committee on Science and Technology 1998 6017 /id}{House of Lords Select Committee on Science and Technology 2001 13158 /id} In response to these reports, the Department of Health asked the British Society for Antimicrobial Chemotherapy (BSAC) to consider repeating a previous survey of teaching in UK Medical Schools. BSAC established an Undergraduate Education Working Party and in 2001 they proposed that BSAC co-ordinate development of outcomes based learning and assessment resources.

The first step in meeting these objectives, the APT project (Appropriate Prescribing for Tomorrow’s Doctors, http://www.dundee.ac.uk/facmedden/APT/) was funded by the Scottish Executive and hosted by the University of Dundee. This outcome-based online educational resource developed in collaboration with the five Scottish Medical Schools and the BSAC Undergraduate Education Working Party was well received and implemented by the Scottish Medical Schools.

Building on the successes of APT... The BSAC was keen to build and expand on the successes of the APT site and take forward the concept of e-learning, providing a viable alternative to traditional face-to-face learning. Having acknowledged the need for a large scale, multidisciplinary initiative aimed at both undergraduates and postgraduates that would build on the initial successes of the APT Project, BSAC provided funding for the development of the Prudent Antibiotic User (PAUSE) website.

BSAC & ESCMID have established an academic partnership to oversee future project and content development. This collaboration will ensure the delivery of prescribing related education across Europe, and will be strengthened by the combined resources of the BSAC and ESCMID.