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What are public health chiefs doing about antibiotic prescribing?

Public Health England released its ‘English surveillance programme for antimicrobial utilisation and resistance’ (ESPAUR) report, and has set out plans for tackling high rates of prescribing. Read the summary here

What is the ESPAUR report?

The report brings together antibiotic resistance, consumption and stewardship data across England for the first time.

What did it find?

- Between 2010 and 2013 total antibiotic use (including both GPs and hospitals) went up by 6% - from 25.9 to 27.4 daily defined dose (DDR*) per 1,000 inhabitants per day

- GP prescribing rose by 4.1%, from 20.6 to 21.55 DDD per 1,000 inhabitants per day

- Prescribing to hospital inpatients rose by 12%, from 2.3 to 2.5 DDD per 1,000 inhabitants per day

- Community prescribing (dentists and other non-GPs) rose by 32%, from 1.3 to 1.7 DDD per 1,000 inhabitants per day

- Predominant antibiotics in use were penicillins, tetracyclines and macrolides

- Resistance to cephalosporins and gentamicin rose by 28% and 27%, respectively

- Use of tetracyclines has risen significantly in both GP practices and hospitals, from 3.9 to 4.5 DDD per 1,000 inhabitants, and from 0.18 to 0.21 DDD per 1,000 inhabitants, respectively

What does PHE plan to do?

From April data on GP practice-level prescribing of antibiotics will be published by PHE, so that people can see at ‘a click of a button’ how each compares with other practices in the CCG, area team and nationally. Data on each individual GP’s level of antibiotic prescribing will also be added in future

This will mean ‘organisations can interrogate the key resistance and consumption measures in one platform’.

Individual hospital pharmacy data will also be added ‘once validated’

Could be used to develop targets in the GP contract

Readers' comments (1)

  • Health visitors have been using manuka honey to treat resistant infected bedsores.It is a food item and could be encouraged in order to prevent antibiotic resistance orally for early mild chest infections.I have tried it and manage to ward of the usual winter antibiiotics usage

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