Antibiotics – are we doing out bit?

Reduced antibiotic prescribing is associated with lower patient satisfaction on the national General Practice Patient Survey, according to a new study by King’s College London.
The NHS GP Patient Survey is a component of the NHS Quality Outcomes Framework that informs GP’s pay-for-performance.

Do we support our local GP’s decision not to prescribe an antibiotic?

Do we have sufficient knowledge of evidence-based options to help?
If not, why not?
And I won’t accept that there’s “no evidence”!

Are we also aware of new research showing that paracetamol is useless for ‘flu symptoms, and in fact might contribute to viral replication by suppressing a higher temperature?
Experts admit that paracetamol makes no difference to the severity or duration of symptoms, temperature or influenza post-viral.

Will we recommend paracetamol routinely based on this evidence, published in the New England Journal of Medicine?

The lead author of the study published in the British Journal of General Practice admitted that “many patients come in asking for antibiotics when they have viral infections such as colds, coughs, sore throats or the ‘flu.
GPs often feel pressured by patients to prescribe antibiotics and find it difficult to refuse a patient who asks them”.

“These findings suggest that practices that try to help prevent a spread of antibiotic-resistant bacteria by prescribing fewer antibiotics are likely to experience a drop in their satisfaction ratings.”

A previous study by Public Health England found that 51% of patients were inappropriately prescribed an antibiotic by their GP for coughs and colds.

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