CCG Medicines Optimisation Team scoops national award
19th May 2016 | By Liz Mattock | Posted in Prescriptions
A project which has improved the way in which patients are prescribed antibiotics and reduced the number of prescriptions dispensed in Leicester has scooped a national award.
The project to drive down the high rates of antibiotic prescribing in the city, as well as tackling patients’ resistance to antibiotics, began in 2013 when pharmacists and managers from Leicester City Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) led a practice audit which highlighted an inconsistency in the way in which practices were prescribing.
Thanks to the work of the team 17% fewer prescriptions for antibiotics were dispensed in the period April to December 2015 compared to the same period in the year before. That reduction of more than 30,000 prescriptions led to the CCG scooping a prestigious award for prescribing at the Antibiotic Guardian Awards 2016, held on Thursday May 12, 2016. The project fought off competition from 79 other entries from across the UK.
The routine usage of antibiotics to treat viral infections has led to certain bacteria becoming antibiotic resistant. This has a knock on effect when treating life-threatening conditions, such as MRSA which is currently resistant to several antibiotics.
As part of the project an internal audit was used to find out how practices were using antibiotics, what infections they were prescribing them for and how often they were being prescribed. As a result, a number of changes took place in the prescribing of antibiotics in the city.
This included a revised prescribing policy to ensure a consistent approach throughout Leicester, while the CCG also signed up to the Antibiotic Guardian pledge from Public Health England.
Lesley Gant, Head of Prescribing at Leicester City Clinical Commissioning Group, said: “We feel honoured to be recognised for our hard work in ensuring GPs in Leicester are prescribing antibiotics in the most effective way. We have worked closely with practices and NHS England to ensure that the prescribing guidance has changed so antibiotics remain as effective as possible when patients really need them. I am personally very proud of my team and what they have achieved.
“As part of the ongoing project, we are trying to teach people about responsible antibiotic use. If people take a course of antibiotics when they don’t need to, a resistance to the antibiotic will occur. The antibiotic will no longer be as effective at killing the bad bacteria that makes us poorly and essentially a new antibiotic will need to be found.”
Professor Azhar Farooqi, Chair of Leicester City Clinical Commissioning Group, said: “We are delighted the project has won and been recognised for the benefits to local patients. By only using antibiotics when it’s appropriate to do so we can slow down resistance and make sure these life-saving medicines remain effective when we need them the most.”
For more information on the antibiotic guardian campaign visit the pages on the Leicester City CCG website http://bit.ly/1NS5kSb. More information about Antibiotic Guardian Awards 2016 can be found here http://antibioticguardian.com/antibiotic-guardian-annual-awards/.