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‘Shadow Man’ to haunt the dreams of GPs who overprescribe antibiotics

NICE unveils the shadow-man, a vengeful henchman who will watch over UK prescribers and haunt their dreams.

‘We’ve tried all sorts of ways to curb antibiotic prescribing in primary care,’ admitted a NICE spokesperson. ‘But one thing we haven’t tried is pure unadulterated fear, which is where the Shadow Man comes in.’

We caught up with one GP who we found hiding in a cupboard.

‘It was a typical day,’ she whispered.

‘I was just about to print off my third amoxicillin script of the afternoon when all of a sudden the lights went off and I felt warm sticky breath on my neck.

When they flickered back on again he was there in front of me: the Shadow Man, wearing a long black trenchcoat and a sharpened lawn mower blade for a hand.

‘He pointed at my prescription and in a thick graveyard-soil voice asked if I would like to reconsider.

‘Every night the fear of his return haunts my dreams.’

‘I don’t know why we didn’t think of this before,’ added the spokesperson. ‘If there’s one thing we should have learnt by now it’s that undiluted pant-wetting fear motivates.’

Dr Kevin Hinkley is a GP in Edinburgh