European Antibiotic Awareness Day (EAAD) 2014 is planned for November 18th 2014. Public Health England (PHE) is attempting to encourage restraint in the overprescribing and overuse of antibiotics. There is a potential public health crisis as existing antimicrobials become less effective. PHE has written to health and wellbeing boards to promote awareness of the problem. PHE hopes to obtain 10,000 pledges from healthcare professionals and the public, via the Antibiotic Guardian website.
European Antibiotic Awareness Day: letters to NHS and local authority health and wellbeing boards. London: Public Health England, August 6th 2014.
Potential to Improve Antibiotic Prescribing
Scientists at Public Health England and University College London have found that GP antibiotics prescribing for coughs and colds increased by 40% between 1999 and 2011; despite government recommendations about reducing their prescription for illnesses caused by viruses. Researchers identified substantial variation in prescribing between general practices; the highest prescribing practices being twice as likely prescribe antibiotics for coughs and colds as the lowest prescribers.
Steep rise in antibiotic use for coughs and colds. London: NHS Choices Behind the Headlines, August 5th 2014.
Hughes, D. (2014). Antibiotics use for colds ‘rises 40%’. London: BBC Health News, August 5th 2014.
This relates to:
Significant scope to improve antibiotic prescribing. London: Public Health England, August 5th 2014.
The original research:
Hawker, JI. Smith, S. [and] Smith, GE. [et al] (2014). Trends in antibiotic prescribing in primary care for clinical syndromes subject to national recommendations to reduce antibiotic resistance, UK 1995-2011: analysis of a large database of primary care consultations. Journal of Antimicrobial Chemotherapy. August 4th 2014. [Epub ahead of print].
Background interest: the European Antibiotic Awareness Day (EAAD) 2013 evaluation report documents activities in 2013, and offers recommendations for 2014.
European Antibiotic Awareness Day evaluation 2013. London: Department of Health and Public Health England, June 23rd 2014.