UK’s new National Action Plan to tackle Antimicrobial Resistance: survey results

16 May 2024

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Last week, the UK Government published the latest five-year AMR National Action Plan (NAP), “Confronting Antimicrobial Resistance”, which aims to take the UK closer to reaching its vision of containing and controlling AMR by 2040.

Following its release, the Microbiology Society launched a survey to gather feedback and insights from the microbiology community regarding the content of the NAP. The survey received 82 responses and assessed the NAP through 16 questions.

The survey results reveal a strong endorsement of the plan’s goals and commitments. The overall response to the NAP was overwhelmingly positive, with 88% of respondents agreeing that the plan's four key areas should be prioritised, 74% of respondents agreeing that the commitments are clear enough, 66% of respondents agreeing that the research areas have been prioritised correctly and 66% of respondents thinking that the NAP is suitable and appropriate for all of the ‘One Health’ sectors.

Positive feedback included comments such as, "happy to see some action," "brilliant that the UK is taking the lead," "step in the right direction," and "happy to see this important action plan moving forward."

Comparing the new NAP to its predecessor, 55% of respondents felt it represented an improvement, although 40% were uncertain. Among those who commented, some found the targets to be more realistic, though ultimately less ambitious. This sentiment was echoed in the 51% of respondents who deemed the NAP ambitious enough. Those who did not think the NAP was ambitious enough (22%) cited concerns such as a lack of coordinated efforts, insufficient global leadership, and unambitious targets. A few highlighted that the level of ambition depends on the funding available for the plan’s implementation.

Regarding human health targets, 56% of respondents found them appropriate. Among those who disagreed, the primary concern was the perceived lack of ambition, balanced by a recognition of the need for realism in setting these targets.

On the clarity of the 30 commitments outlined in the NAP, 74% of respondents agreed that they were sufficiently clear, with less than 4% disagreeing and 23% uncertain. The majority of comments pointed to a need for defining measures of success, rather than altering the commitments themselves.

We thank our community for their feedback via this survey and look forward to continuing to convey the collective opinion of the microbiology community to the UK Government over the next five years as the NAP is delivered.

Read the full survey results here.