Intended for healthcare professionals

Rapid response to:


GPs are failing to follow national guidance on antibiotic prescribing, says study

BMJ 2014; 349 doi: (Published 07 August 2014) Cite this as: BMJ 2014;349:g5016

Rapid Response:

Its extraordinary that there's been so little response or interest in this issue from our profession since the news broke over a week ago. We KNOW the facts........ we KNOW that antibiotics dont work for 95% of the vague, snuffly illnesses that patients present with, and we KNOW that antibiotic over-prescribing is the single greatest reason for the development of widespread bacterial resistance. Even the patients know this. So why are we as doctors defying the logic and helping to create the doomsday situation which even David Cameron has warned of recently?

Over the last 20 years, areas of professional responsibility and decision-making have been stealthily and progressively closed down by the imposition of ever-increasing numbers of rules, algorithms, guidelines, and protocols. If we can't put our house in order over antibiotic abuse, then who could blame the government for telling us precisely when antibiotics can be used? Surely this is a case for professional self-policing if ever there was one? And urgently.

Competing interests: No competing interests

10 August 2014
Peter J Mahaffey
Pinehill Hospital, Hitchin SG4 9QZ