Pilot pays practices to cut antibiotic scrips

Practices are to be incentivised for cutting the number of prescriptions for antibiotics, under a pilot scheme launched in North East Essex.

North East Essex PCT has set up the scheme in an attempt to tackle rising levels of infections such as clostridium difficilie and MRSA, caused by over prescribing of antibiotics.

Under the scheme, practices will receive a payment of £1 for every patient on their practice list, if they reduce their use of antibiotics by 20 per cent by the end of the financial year.

Dr Mike Gogarty, director of public health at North East Essex PCT said: ‘We have areas across North East Essex that have levels of antibiotic prescribing that are 20 per cent above the national average for England.

‘All the GPs in the area will be given advice on how to limit prescribing and should follow NICE guidance on antibiotics.

‘Last year a similar scheme was set up which halved prescribing levels of cefalosporins and quinolones. We are optimistic that this scheme will be a success.'

It will be a challenge for GPs but they will be incentivised for this, said Dr Gogerty.
There is a budget of £140,000 available for this via practice-based commissioning, he added.

sanjay.tanday@haymarket.com

  • Should PCTs incentivise practices to cut antibiotic scrips?

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