The Government’s ambition in response to Lord O’Neill’s Review on Antimicrobial Resistance is to halve inappropriate prescribing of antibiotics by 2020/21. The English Surveillance Programme for Antimicrobial Utilisation and Resistance has shown that the number of antibiotic prescriptions in primary care decreased by 13% between 2012 and 2016.
To support the Government’s ambition, NHS England and Public Health England are leading a range of measures to optimise the prescribing of antibiotics, including education and training, financial incentives and raising awareness. The measures include:
- A Quality Premium focused on driving down inappropriate prescribing in primary care;
- A Commissioning for Quality and Innovation (CQUIN) scheme to incentivise providers to reduce antibiotic consumption in secondary care; and
- A national awareness campaign launched by Public Health England to increase patient awareness about inappropriate prescribing of antibiotics.
In addition, the NHS England Chief Pharmaceutical Officer will be reinforcing what constitutes inappropriate prescribing (as recently defined by the Advisory Committee on Antimicrobial Prescribing, Resistance and Healthcare Associated Infection) in direct communications to trusts.