NHS England has launched the world’s largest healthcare incentive scheme to prevent the growing problem of antibiotic resistance.
The new programme, which is due to go live in April, will offer hospitals incentive funding worth up to £150 million to support expert pharmacists and clinicians review and reduce inappropriate prescribing. In addition, a typical CCG with a population of 300,000 could receive up to £150,000 a year to support GP practices improve their antimicrobial prescribing.
Clinical commissioning groups are being supported to reduce the number of antibiotics prescribed in primary care by 4 per cent, or to the average performance levels of 2013/14. Hospital trusts will also receive payments for gathering and sharing evidence of antibiotic consumption and review within 72 hours of the beginning of treatment. Further payments will be made for reducing the use of broad-spectrum antibiotics. Information will be available for commissioners to directly monitor progress on a dedicated website.
Paul Cosford, director for health protection and medical director at Public Health England, said: “Tackling antimicrobial resistance is rightly a national and international priority. One key action in work to slow resistance is ensuring all antibiotics are appropriately prescribed and that these prescriptions are regularly reviewed. I am delighted the NHS is taking action to address this through its Commissioning for Quality and Innovation guidance."