Exclusive: Huge variation in CCG antibiotic spending per patient revealed

CCGs in some parts of England spend more than twice as much per registered patient on antibiotic treatments than their counterparts elsewhere in the country, GPonline can reveal.

Analysis by GPonline of Health and Social Care Information Centre (HSCIC)  prescribing figures, covering just over two years from April 2013 to around June 2015, show that CCGs spent a combined total of over £427m on antibiotic prescriptions.

When taking into account the number of GP-registered patients at each CCG and the amount incurred by each CCG on antibacterial drugs, the average amount spent per patient varies hugely, ranging from £4.19 in West London CCG to £10.00 at Knowsley CCG – an over two-fold difference.

The findings come just weeks after NICE experts suggested GPs and practices should be reprimanded and referred to the GMC for handing out too many antibiotics to help cut down overall prescribing.

Map: CCG antibiotic prescribing

See our map to compare the average amount spent per patient on antibiotics at each CCG. Darker red shades indicate areas with a higher average cost.

GPonline’s CCG interactive map shows that CCG areas in London have the lowest costs per individual patient. Areas in the most northern parts of England are among the highest.

Alongside West London CCG, Central London, Brent, Hounslow and Haringey CCGs spent less than £5 per head on antibiotic prescriptions.

Areas that appear to be spending the most include Knowsley, Halton, South Tees and St Helens CCGs.

Rising bacterial resistance to antibiotic treatments has been described as a 'catastrophic threat to modern medicine' by CMO Professor Dame Sally Davies.

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