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Poole's antibiotic prescribing is best in the west

A one-day snapshot survey of antibiotic prescribing among hospital patients in the south west has found Poole Hospital’s use of these medicines to be the most appropriate in the region.

The study seeks to establish the proportion of patients who are appropriately prescribed antibiotics, amid concerns over increasing resistance to this vital group of drugs.

Nationally, it is estimated that up to half of all antibiotics prescribed by GPs and hospital doctors may be unnecessary.

As well as contributing to drug resistance, making some conditions harder to treat, inappropriate use of antibiotics can also make patients susceptible to other illnesses, like Clostridium difficile, as they can cause an imbalance in bacteria in the gut.

The south west antibiotic pharmacy group’s report is based on analysis of the type of antibiotic used, their frequency and the infections treated in 16 hospitals in a single day.

Ensuring appropriate prescription of antibiotics is critical for the future healthcare needs of the UK and global population, said Dr Paul Flanagan, consultant medical microbiologist and antimicrobial lead at the trust.

“The prescribing of antibiotics is a key area of concern for health professionals here and abroad,” he said.

“Some infections are already proving to be resistant to the tried and tested antibiotic treatments available and so new and creative ways of fighting infections are being researched and tested.

“Antibiotics are one of the most common prescription drugs in use globally, and surveys like this are important ways in which appropriate use can be measured against other UK hospitals and important lessons learned.

“Our performance is a great credit to the hard working doctors and pharmacists here at Poole Hospital.”

Date: 8 July 2013

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Poole Hospital NHS Foundation Trust, Longfleet Road, Poole, Dorset BH15 2JB. Tel: 01202 665511

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