Young woman holding medicine

Study to explore antibiotic prescribing in primary care with new funding

The health sector is set to continue its battle against antimicrobial resistance (AMR) thanks to £3m of new funding for a trial aiming to improve the provision of antibiotics in primary care.

The study will centre around the most common bacterial infection in the NHS – urinary tract infections (UTIs). Up to 50% of bacteria which cause UTIs are resistant to at least one form of antibiotic, thus meaning some treatments do not work against UTIs at all.

This, in turn, leads to people being sicker for longer and more severely, and with some suggestions indicating that it may lead to more deaths than cancer by 2050, AMR is a serious threat to public health.

As part of the five-year study, researchers from the University of Bristol will work with partners in the NHS and the UK Health Security Agency to develop a new method of encouraging clinicians to look at different treatments and evaluate the impact on overall AMR.

                                                                       Video credit: Canva

The team will use randomised controlled trials to explore the efficacy of different treatments and will investigate the groups most affected by AMR. The results of differences in age, race and financial situation will also be analysed.

The programme’s lead, Dr Ashley Hammond, who is a research fellow in infection disease epidemiology at the University of Bristol, said: "Our research programme aims to address one of the most common infections treated in primary care, where the gains for individuals, the NHS and wider public health of improved antibiotic prescribing and reduced antimicrobial resistance could be great.”

The funding is coming from the National Institute for Health and Care Research.

Image credit: iStock

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NHE May/June 2024

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