This forum convened by Pathology North addresses practical AMS and diagnostic stewardship issues of local and wider relevance to prescribers, pharmacists and other interested groups. The postings do not necessarily reflect Pathology North or LHD policy – refer to official guidelines via the relevant LHD resource.  The site is  supported by a brains trust that includes, GPs, pharmacologists, pharmacists, microbiologists and infectious disease physicians. We have no connections with PHARMA or other conflicts of interest to declare.

AIMED stands for five essential principles that seek to optimise patient treatment with antimicrobials. What is antimicrobial stewardship (AMS)?  – excellent overview from McKenzie, Rawlins and Del Mar in Australian Prescriber.


  1. Antimicrobial selection & dosage compliant with guideline recommendations.
  2. Indication for antimicrobial treatment  documented.
  3. Microbiological assessment– collect necessary specimens PRIOR to first dose.
  4. Evaluate patient at 48-72 hours- assess whether antimicrobial treatment can be modified or ceased (de-escalation).
  5. Duration or review date – should always be specified.

Improving/reducing antimicrobial use across medicine, veterinary practice and agricultural settings is also an essential part of strategies to curb antimicrobial resistance, worldwide and locally.


Who’s Who –  local experts  – 2018

Pathology North Microbiologists (based in Newcastle and further north)

  • Dr Rod Givney (Director, Microbiology)
  • Dr Hema Varadhan
  • Dr John Ferguson
  • Dr Alison Winning (Tweed Heads, Lismore)
  • Registrars (2018) – Drs Ian Marr, Syeda Naqvi, Aileen Oon

North NSW (Lismore , Tweed Heads, Grafton)

  • Dr Alison Winning (Infectious Diseases & Microbiology)
  • Dr Sarah Coghill (Infectious Diseases)

Hunter New England Local Health District

  • On-call Immunology  &  Infectious Diseases consultants (via 49213000)
  • On-call Medical Microbiologist, Pathology North (via 49214000)

Mid North Coast (Coffs Harbour, Bellingen, Macksville, Dorigo, Kempsey, Port Macquarie)

  • Dr Catherine Berry (part-time Infectious Diseases consultant)
  • Telephone referral support from HNELHD
  • Port Macquarie Hospital: Dr Aiveen Bannan (Infectious Diseases)

Armidale Hospital / University of New England 

  • Dr Phillip Braslins (Infectious Diseases)
  • Dr Mark Kelly (General Medicine & Infectious Diseases)

Hunter Drug Information Service – 4014 3695 (Health Professionals Only)

  • Ms Felicity Prior
  • Dr Ian Whyte (Pharmacologist)

Blog Coordinator

A/Prof John Ferguson



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