UCL Institute of Health Informatics


IHI Video Featured in the New UK Government 5-year AMR National Action Plan

13 May 2024

A digital story created for an IHI study looking at an innovative way to enrich public engagement with antimicrobial resistance (AMR) has been used as a case study illustrating the human impact of AMR in the UK government’s new 5-year National Action Plan (NAP) on AMR 2024-2029.

digital storytelling

Entitled Confronting Antimicrobial Resistance 2024-2029, the plan supports the government’s 20-year vision to contain and control AMR by 2040.

Driving down inappropriate antibiotic use requires widescale buy-in from the public in order to encourage less unnecessary use of antibiotics, which in turn helps to reduce the emergence and spread of resistant organisms and difficult-to-treat infections. The plan stresses that we are all at risk of infections from drug-resistant bacteria – and that we need to preserve antibiotics for people who really need them.

Reflecting this need to preserve antibiotics, the digital story featured in the National Action Plan told the story of 31-year-old Laila Hudson, who experienced sepsis due to a drug-resistant infection while undergoing chemotherapy for advanced bowel cancer.  The four-minute film was created by PhD student, Becky McCall with supervisor and IHI Director, Professor Laura Shallcross, MBE, and most importantly, it was told in the first person by the storyteller, Laila.

AMR National Action Plan

Laila’s own words put a fine point on the threat of AMR and the fear that comes with it when the drugs no longer work. “Until then, I thought it was the cancer that would kill me. Now I wondered whether resistant infection might be more imminent threat.”

The study, known as StoryBug, has made four more digital stories exploring experiences of AMR in cystic fibrosis, a surgical site infection, a toe injury and a urinary tract infection. The work is funded by the Medical Research Foundation.