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Antimicrobial Stewardship Awards
The RCVS Knowledge Awards for Antimicrobial Stewardship showcases practical examples where individuals and/or teams are improving responsible antimicrobial prescribing using recognised Quality Improvement methods.
The awards aim to recognise those individuals and teams who are driving continuous improvements in responsible antimicrobial use and are open to anyone who works within the veterinary industry.
"The RCVS Knowledge AMS Awards gave me an opportunity to reflect on the hard work done by our team to reduce antibiotic usage without a negative impact on animal welfare. It confirmed the progress we have made and improved my understanding of Quality Improvement"
Rachel Forster BVetMed MRCVS - 2023 Knowledge Award AMS Champion
About the awards
What are the AMS Awards for?
The Antimicrobial Stewardship (AMS) Awards aim to recognise and showcase practical examples of individuals and/or teams who are driving continuous improvements in responsible antimicrobial use using recognised Quality Improvement methods.
The awards are open to anyone who works within the veterinary industry, including those from a practice setting, educators and students from under and postgraduate education. The award categories are:
- Companion animal
- Farm animal
Applicants should be able to demonstrate how they have used recognised Quality Improvement methods and the resources available via rcvsknowledge.org/AMR to result in measurable improvements in the responsible use of antimicrobials.
Applications could encompass a strategic approach across a large practice group or across a geographical area or be a very specific project for a team or individual.
Who is eligible for these awards
The awards are open to anyone within the veterinary industry and veterinary education field. This includes those from a practice setting, for example, from the administration team, veterinary nurses, practice managers and surgeons at all levels. The awards are also open to students and educators.
We encourage anyone applying the principles of evidence-based veterinary medicine, and undertaking high-quality Quality Improvement, in the area of antimicrobial stewardship to enter.
We welcome applications from those who have previously applied for the awards, either with updates to previous AMS projects, or details of new AMS projects.
What will my application be assessed against?
Applications are blinded and assessed by a panel of reviewers. The panel uses the following criteria to score applications. All applications must have the best interests of animal health and welfare at its heart.
The application should be well articulated and should demonstrate:
- Passion for AMS and encouraging and championing the use of QI tools and techniques to monitor changes and make improvements.
- Good technical application of QI tools and techniques, or:
- The teaching of QI techniques to better equip students for practice and the impact this is having (Education category).
- How good AMS is embedded as part of business-as-usual (it is “the way we do things”, rather than an add-on to the day job).
- The use of evidence-based approaches.
- A completed audit cycle as defined by the RCVS Knowledge Audit cycle and use RCVS Knowledge AMR Hub resources.
- A commitment to antimicrobial stewardship
A culture that is conducive to improvement, including:
A learning culture that shows how the team works together for safer ways to deliver care.
Leadership for a whole team.
We are particularly interested in applications:
- that demonstrate the application of the 'Plan, Prevent, Protect' mantra.
- from Farm Vet Champions who are leading their team to use the SMART goals tool to convert their Farm Vet Champion CPD into actionable improvements in responsible prescribing.
- from Equine Practices using the Antibiotic Audit tool.
The case example, which is included as part of the application, should inspire others within the veterinary profession towards a culture of continuous improvement in antimicrobial stewardship.
What happens if my application is selected as a winner?
Successful applicants will become RCVS Knowledge Awards winners. They will have the opportunity to work with RCVS Knowledge to promote and share their work in antimicrobial stewardship. This promotion might include presenting at a conference, sharing knowledge through our social media, podcasts and interviews, and even publishing their findings in a journal such as Veterinary Evidence.
RCVS Knowledge Awards winners will receive a £250 prize and may be invited to attend an awards ceremony (either online or in-person) and will be reimbursed up to £200 towards reasonable travel costs to attend the event. If a winning application was made for a practice – rather than an individual – then a representative will be invited to attend the awards ceremony.
Read the RCVS Knowledge Award Terms and Conditions for more information
Suggested application topics
Potential topics that you could base your application on might include the following:
- Changing diagnostic behaviours in practice to reduce target antimicrobial prescribing.
- Audit practice prescribing or usage of antimicrobials.
- Focus on reducing antimicrobial prescribing of Critically Important High Priority Antimicrobials (those of specific importance to human health)
- Creation of disease or condition protocols to improve and unify practice approaches to antimicrobial use.
- Promotion of antimicrobial stewardship within the community, with clients and farmers.
- Measures taken to improve patient environments with infection prevention and control practices in mind.
- Running knowledge exchange events with clients on responsible antimicrobial use behaviours.
- Students integrating antimicrobial stewardship into their education, such as performing antimicrobial prescribing audits, drawing up clinical guidelines or other techniques.
- Holding an Antibiotic Amnesty in practice.
"I was shocked to see that we had received an RCVS Knowledge Award. It’s a real boost for the team to show that even if our contribution to reducing antimicrobial use seems small to the
industry issue, every bit counts and it’s great to get recognition for this. It will certainly inspire us to keep going."
Tonia Simms BVSc DBR MRCVS - 2023 Knowledge Award AMS Champion
How to apply
The Antimicrobial Stewardship Award application process is made up of two sections. The first section collects key data and a summary about your initiative via an online form. The second section is where you will attach and upload your case example. Your application should be submitted using the case example template.
Applicants are asked to categorise their applications. Initiatives may encompass more than one category. If this is the case, we ask you to select the category that is most applicable. The award categories are:
- Companion animal
- Farm animal
You will receive an automatic confirmation message once the submission is successful. If you do not receive this, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
All applications should read the RCVS Knowledge Award Terms and Conditions before applying.
Applications must be received by 12th January 2024.
Winners will be notified in July 2024.
Paragon Veterinary Referrals, Linnaeus, focused on the protection of critically important antimicrobials by bringing together an Antimicrobial Stewardship Team, creating guidelines based on the Plan Protect Prevent mantra and running in-house CPD. The team found improvements in prescribing culture, communication and a more open environment when discussing the appropriate use of antibiotics.
Rachel Forster from Market Veterinary Group, IVC, used the Farm Vet Champions mantra Plan Prevent Protect to reduce prophylactic antibiotic use in neonatal lambs. With the introduction of CPD materials, audits and team meetings for practice teams, as well as client awareness meetings and support materials for farmers, the initiative saw a reduction in neonatal antibiotic use of 75%.
Tonia Simms from The Farm Vets at Hampden Veterinary Hospital (VetPartners), explored the use of antibiotics in surgical calf castrates. Tonia created a risk assessment and policy to reduce the routine use of prophylactic antibiotics. The actions of the team following the introduction of the interventions led to an increase in morale and confidence around not prescribing prophylactic antibiotics without compromising welfare.
White Lodge Veterinary Surgery, CVS, carried out a prospective audit to review the use of antibiotics, with a focus of antibiotic use in cat bite abscesses. With the introduction of checklists and in-house CPD they were able to treat 86% of their patients successfully without antibiotics without compromising welfare.
Want to know more about VetTeamAMR?
- Access our VetTeamAMR learning platform to access courses and resources to help you instil antimicrobial stewardship among your team. It includes:
- Visit our AMR Hub on our website to find freely accessible, evidence-based knowledge and resources about responsible antimicrobial use. With over 42 hours of CPD, teams can access this information and embed good antimicrobial stewardship in practice.
- We have been working with veterinary teams to create step-by-step guides, templates, case examples, podcasts and courses specifically in the areas of: clinical audit, benchmarking, Visit our dedicated tools and resources page to see them all.