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Nurse prescribing is fuelling rise in antibiotic resistance

GPs tend to send samples for analysis if a urinary tract infection is not responding to a first-line antibiotic.

But it's common practice among district nurses and midwives in hospitals to send urine for routine cultures.

These hospital-based studies are therefore a fair reflection of overall resistance and do not overestimate the problem ('Trimethoprim "close to obsolete" as antibiotic resistance soars').

We must point out to Government ministers the danger of the plans under consideration to allow chemists to dispense trimethoprim, and of those already enacted to give nurses the right to prescribe antibiotics.

This was probably the biggest blunder we committed and was certainly not in the interests of patients.

Prescribing medication requires wide knowledge and years of clinical practice. If protocols and guidelines can help nurses treat illness, why then are we still training youngsters to be doctors?

This cost-saving exercise is killing the practice of medicine. We now have multiple types of bacteria, candida and even flu viruses that are resistant to treatment.

From Dr Kadiyali Srivatsa, Woking, Surrey


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