Hospital pharmacists' awareness of a new antibiotic guideline in the UK: implications for practice

Eleanor M. Woodford*, Keith A. Wilson, John F. Marriott

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Objectives: Pharmacists play an important role in the review of local hospital guidelines. British Thoracic Society (BTS) guidelines for the management of patients with community-acquired pneumonia (CAP) were updated in 2001, and it is important that individual hospital recommendations are based upon this national guidance. The aim of this study was to identify UK Chief Pharmacists' awareness of these updated guidelines one year after their publication. Secondary aims were to identify whether pharmacists had subsequently initiated revision of institutional CAP guidelines, and what roles different professional staff had performed in this process. Method: A self-completion postal questionnaire was sent to the Chief Pharmacist (or their nominated staff) in 253 UK NHS hospitals in November 2002. This aimed to identify issues relating to their awareness of the 2001 BTS guidelines and subsequent revision of their hospital's guidelines. Results:188 questionnaires were returned (a response rate of 74%), of which 164 hospitals had local antibiotic prescribing guidelines. Respondents in 29% of these hospitals were unaware of the 2001 BTS publication and institutional guidelines had been revised in only 51% of hospitals where the Chief Pharmacist was purportedly aware of the new BTS guidance. Generally, more staff types were involved in revising guidelines than initiating revision. Conclusions:Variability existed in both Chief Pharmacists' awareness of new national guidance and subsequent review processes operating in individual hospitals. A lack of proactive reaction to new national guidance was identified in some hospitals, and it is hoped that the establishment of specialist "infectious diseases pharmacists" will facilitate the review of institutional antibiotic prescribing guidelines in the future. © Springer 2005.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)215-219
Number of pages5
JournalPharmacy World and Science
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - Jun 2005


  • antibiotics
  • British thoracic society
  • community-acquired pneumonia
  • guidelines
  • pharmacists
  • United Kingdom


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