An evaluation of the five rights antibiotic safety before and during COVID-19 at an NHS Foundation Trust in the United Kingdom

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Antimicrobial Resistance (AMR) poses a significant global health threat, with AMR-related deaths projected to reach 10 million annually by 2050. The COVID-19 pandemic has further exacerbated this crisis. This study focuses on evaluating the 'Five Rights of Antibiotic Safety' in an NHS Foundation Trust in England, assessing the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on antibiotic prescribing and Antimicrobial Stewardship (AMS) practices in 2019 and 2020.
A cross-sectional retrospective study was conducted, focusing on adult patients aged 25 and older admitted to the NHS Foundation Trust and prescribed antibiotics for respiratory tract infections in 2019 and 2020. The study involved a retrospective review of 640 patient records, using descriptive analysis to evaluate the adherence to the ‘Five Rights of Antibiotics’ and assess the impact of COVID-19 on antibiotic safety practices.
The study observed significant shifts in antibiotic prescribing practices during the study period. There was an increase in instances of inappropriate dosing and route of administration, alongside a slight improvement in prescribing durations. The study also noted a stable rate of appropriate antibiotic selection according to antimicrobial guidelines, indicating a concerning rise in inappropriate prescribing patterns during the COVID-19 pandemic.
The study revealed notable changes in antibiotic prescribing practices during the COVID-19 pandemic, advocating the importance of robust AMS to ensure appropriate use of antibiotics. The findings highlight the need for enhanced AMS educational initiatives and systematic oversight to combat AMR and protect public health in future health crises.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)188-189
Number of pages2
JournalJournal of Global Antimicrobial Resistance
Early online date3 Jan 2024
Publication statusPublished - 1 Mar 2024


  • Five Rights of Antibiotic Safety
  • Medicine Optimisation
  • Antibiotics
  • Retrospective Studies
  • Antimicrobial stewardship
  • Cross-Sectional Studies
  • Pandemics
  • COVID-19
  • United Kingdom
  • antimicrobial resistance (AMR)
  • Hospitals
  • Healthcare Settings
  • Acute care setting
  • Hosptials
  • antimicrobial
  • antimicrobial agents
  • Antibiotic Prescribing


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