This site is intended for healthcare professionals only

Prescriptions in general practice cut in feedback trial

Written by: | Published:

The trial set out to reduce the number of prescrip The trial set out to reduce the number of prescriptions given out

Writing to general practices to warn them when rates of prescriptions are too high can reduce the number of antibiotics given to patients, a new trial by Public Health England has found.

The trial, involving over 1500 general practices in England, targeted both GPs and patients. The practices were sent a letter saying ‘80% of practices in your local area prescribe fewer antibiotics per head than yours’, and were provided with three ways to make sure any antibiotics prescriptions were necessary. Patients were targeted with leaflets and posters about why reducing the use of antibiotics is important.

‘We know that drug resistant infections are one of the biggest health threats we face,’ said professor Sally Davies, the chief medical officer.

GPs who received the letter reduced their rate of antibiotic prescriptions to 127 per 1000 compared with 131 per 1000 GPs who did not receive the letter. There was no significant difference in the rate of antibiotic prescriptions in the patient group.

The trial recorded a fall of 3.3% in prescriptions over six months. This equates to around 73,000 fewer prescriptions, saving the health service as much as £92,000. The trial was part of the effort to reduce antibiotic prescribing to tackle antimicrobial resistance. The results were published in The Lancet.

‘This innovative trial has shown effective and low cost ways to reduce unnecessary prescribing of antibiotics which is essential if we are to preserve these precious medicines and help to save modern medicine as we know it,’ added Professor Davies.

What do you think? Leave a comment below or tweet your views to @IndyNurseMag

This material is protected by MA Healthcare Ltd copyright.
See Terms and Conditions.



Please view our Terms and Conditions before leaving a comment.

Change the CAPTCHA codeSpeak the CAPTCHA code

Most read articles from Practice Nursing Journal

Practice Nursing Journal latest issue and most read articles.

Click here to read a selection of free to access articles from Practice Nursing Journal


Sign up to the newsletter


Independent Nurse is the professional resource for primary care and community nurses, providing clinical articles for practice nurses and prescribers.


Subscribe to our newsletter and stay up to date with the latest nursing news.

Stay Connected

Stay social with Independent Nurse by following us on Twitter, liking us on Facebook or connecting on LinkedIn.


Need access to some of our older articles? You can view our archive, or alternatively contact us.

Contact Us

MA Healthcare Ltd.
St Jude's Church, Dulwich Road
London, SE24 0PB

Tel: +44 (0)20 7738 5454
Registered in England and Wales No. 01878373

Meet the team


Find out how to contribute to Independent Nurse here.