Journal Article

Audit of antibiotic policies in the South East of England, 2004

R. T. Mayon-White and P. Wiffen

in Journal of Antimicrobial Chemotherapy

Published on behalf of British Society for Antimicrobial Chemotherapy

Volume 56, issue 1, pages 204-207
Published in print July 2005 | ISSN: 0305-7453
Published online May 2005 | e-ISSN: 1460-2091 | DOI:
Audit of antibiotic policies in the South East of England, 2004

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Objectives: The antibiotic policies of hospitals and primary care trusts (PCTs) in South East England were audited in the summer of 2004, to see how they had improved since 2000.

Methods: Antibiotic policies were obtained from pharmacists in NHS hospitals and PCTs, and examined for dates, formats, evidence base for policies, the type of guidance given on dosage, length of treatment, choice of antibiotics, coverage of common infections and reasons for prophylaxis.

Results: Twenty-three hospital and 25 primary care policies were examined. The average age of policies was 12 months, but 13 were more than 2 years old. The commonest format was an A4-sized document available in an electronic version. Primary care policies were more uniform than hospital policies. More primary care than hospitals' policies gave evidence to support their guidance. Ten policies used plain English for dosages, and 38 (79%) policies made few or no cautionary points about the drugs recommended. Respiratory and urinary infections were covered in most policies, but guidance on gastroenteritis and antibiotic prophylaxis was less frequent. There was little advice in the policies on the management of methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus.

Conclusions: Primary care policies have improved since 2000, using a national model for evidence and a consistent style. Hospitals could benefit from similar national guidance, especially in the evidence to support the contents of antibiotic policies.

Keywords: antibiotic policies; audit; antibiotics

Journal Article.  1719 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Medical Oncology ; Critical Care

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