A recent study – published in the British Medical Journal – has shown that NHS GP surgeries employing GPs who are also trained in integrative and complementary medicine have lower rates of prescribing antibiotics compared to all other GP surgeries in England. Specifically, antibiotic prescription data was assessed from over 7000 NHS England GP surgeries for the year 2016: Integrative GP surgeries were found to have lower antibiotic prescription rates overall, but also for respiratory tract infections in particular. This is a striking finding given that 60% of all antibiotic prescribing in general practice in the UK is for respiratory tract infections. The study also highlights how NHS England’s decision to remove homeopathy from the public health service is actively restricting GP access to treatments that have the potential to help in the global fight against antimicrobial resistance.

Full citationLess

Van der Werf ET, Duncan LJ, von Flotow P, Baars EW. Do NHS GP surgeries employing GPs additionally trained in integrative or complementary medicine have lower antibiotic prescribing rates? Retrospective cross-sectional analysis of national primary care prescribing data in England in 2016. BMJ Open, 2018; 8(3): e020488