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Antibiotic scripts fall for first time

Fewer antibiotics are being prescribed across all healthcare settings in England for the first time, according to a new report from Public Health England.

In 2015, 2.2 million fewer antibiotic prescriptions were dispensed in the community than the previous year. Use of broad-spectrum antibiotics has also decreased in primary care for the second year running.

Dr Susan Hopkins, lead author and healthcare epidemiologist at PHE, said: “The overall decrease in the number of antibiotics being prescribed is great news but we can’t become complacent; there is still a lot of work to be done. We hope today’s report will help doctors, clinicians and wider healthcare professionals understand and measure what is happening in their area and develop local action plans to tackle antimicrobial resistance.”

Dr Mike Durkin, NHS National Director of Patient Safety, said: “To help continue this trend we are working with our partners to introduce new national incentive schemes for 2017/19 that will further support healthcare providers and commissioners to ensure antibiotics are used responsibly and appropriately.”

The report found that, between 2010 and 2014, bloodstream infections caused by Escherichia coli and Klebsiella pneumoniae increased by 15.6 per cent and 20.8 per cent respectively. In 2015, further increases were seen: E. coli by 4.6 per cent and K. pneumoniae by 9 per cent.


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