About us

Antibiotic resistance is a major global public health issue and a threat to the future of healthcare. Without effective antibiotics, many routine treatments will become increasingly dangerous.

Setting fractured bones and other routine surgery, even chemotherapy all rely on access to antibiotics that work. Antibiotic resistance is driven by use of antibiotics so a key way of tackling it is to reduce their inappropriate use. 

The Scottish Antimicrobial Prescribing Group (SAPG), established in 2008 at the request of the Scottish Government, works closely with clinical staff in NHS boards to promote the safe and effective use of antibiotics across hospital and community settings.

Our primary objective is to coordinate a national framework for antimicrobial stewardship. This means making the best use of antibiotics to prevent and treat infection to optimise outcomes for patients and reduce harm to both patients and wider society. The SAPG programme of work is aligned to the Scotland’s “Realistic Medicine” agenda through our efforts to reduce harm, waste and variation in antibiotic prescribing practice and to develop individualised treatment for patients wherever possible. We work closely with NHS National Services Scotland (NSS), NHS Education for Scotland (NES) and Antimicrobial Management Teams in regional health boards to deliver this work.

By working together, we are making progress in improving use of antibiotics across hospital and community settings, but there is still work to be done.

What we do

Our programme of work focuses on four major themes:
  • Quality improvement: supporting health and social care staff in community settings and clinicians working in hospitals to improve how they use antibiotics to treat patients with infections.
  • Education: developing training materials to support multi-professional education around antibiotics and resistance across all health and care settings.
  • Surveillance and informatics: developing robust information systems to measure antibiotic use and antibiotic resistance and also assess the impact or our quality improvement work.
  • Antibiotic awareness: working with our public partners to raise awareness about use of antibiotics and the problem of antibiotic resistance amongst health and care staff, patients and the public so that together we can ‘Keep Antibiotics Working’.  

Who we are

We are a national clinical multi-professional group with representation from key stakeholders including all mainland Scottish health boards.

We are part of Healthcare Improvement Scotland.

Our programme of work is headed up by our Chair Dr Andrew Seaton and Project Lead Dr Jacqueline Sneddon, and supported by our Project Officer Susan Paton and Information Analyst Andrea Patton. We also work closely with colleagues in National Services Scotland (NSS) and NHS Education for Scotland (NES).

You can contact us by email at hcis.sapg@nhs.net


SAPG representation
Observers and SAPG secretariat