Professor Dame Sally Davies, the outgoing chief medical officer of England, has been appointed as the UK’s first special envoy on antimicrobial resistance (AMR).
She would work across all sectors including health, agriculture and environment to deliver a ‘One Health’ response to AMR.
In her role as co-convenor for the UN Interagency Coordination Group on AMR, Davies played a vital role in putting AMR on the global agenda, driving forward the UK’s world-leading strategy and advising the UN.
“Antibiotic resistance poses an enormous risk to our NHS – we are already seeing the harmful effect resistant bugs can have on patient safety in our hospitals,” said public health minister Seema Kennedy. “It is vital that we retain the irreplaceable expertise of Professor Dame Sally Davis – an international expert in AMR – and continue to invest in research.”
Dame Sally said she felt honoured as the government asked her to continue this important work.
“AMR is a complex challenge which needs local, national and global action. The UK should be proud of its world-leading work on AMR. We have made tangible progress but it is essential we maintain momentum,” she said.
The government has committed £32 million funding last year to accelerate the country’s work in the global fight against AMR. The fund would now be used by ten leading research centres across the country to explore new ways to inform prescribing and identify patterns of resistance.