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15-11-2012 | General practice | Article

RCGP targets antibiotic use

Abstract

RCGP Toolkit

medwireNews: The RCGP has launched a new toolkit to help GPs prescribe antibiotics appropriately.

The TARGET (Treat Antibiotics Responsibly, Guidance and Education Tool), available on the RCGP website (click here) includes guidance on antibiotic prescribing, clinical resources including posters and patient resources such as a 'When should I worry?' information leaflet for parents.

The toolkit also includes an audit report template for conducting a self-assessment on sore throats, which can be used as part of supporting information for revalidation.

Its launch comes in the run up to European Antibiotic Awareness Day this Sunday. The Department of Health has also produced a range of resources for informing the public about antibiotic resistance and encouraging responsible use of antibiotics, including leaflets, factsheets and posters as well as videos to be shown in GP surgeries.

RCGP Clinical Champion for Antimicrobial Stewardship Dr Michael Moore said in a statement: "The toolkit is aimed at working GPs to give them the means to assess their current practice and to focus on ways to reduce antibiotic prescribing in situations where the evidence shows they are of little or no benefit. We will be adding to the toolkit over time as more evidence comes available.

"I don't see antimicrobial stewardship as a one-off activity but as something to be worked on over time. We hope that practices will pick up on antibiotic awareness and integrate this into their service development programme over the coming years perhaps focussing on a different clinical condition each year."

According to the Health Protection Agency (HPA), overall antibiotic use has continued to increase, despite falls in prescribing of certain groups such as cephalosporins and quinolones.

Professor David Livermore, the HPA's lead on antibiotic resistance said: "Over the last ten years or so there has been a major rise in the numbers of resistant bacteria and we cannot let this go unchecked. The fact that we are using our reserve antibiotics to treat some infections is of concern, as resistance is now increasing to them too.

medwireNews (www.medwire-news.md) is an independent clinical news service provided by Springer Healthcare Limited. © Springer Healthcare Ltd; 2012

By Caroline Price, Senior medwireNews Reporter