Prescribing guidelines

North East and Cumbria antimicrobial prescribing guideline for primary care

MicroGuide antibiotic prescribing guidelines smartphone app

The North East and Cumbria antibiotic prescribing guideline for primary care is now available to download free of charge as an app for your smartphone/ tablet.  To get the app search for MicroGuide in the Apple App Store or Google Play and for more information, click on the link below.

Guide to using the NECS MicroGuide antibiotic guidelines app

NICE guidance


Educational materials and training resources

NECS eLearning: antibiotic prescribing and antimicrobial stewardship in primary care

This programme has been developed by the NECS Medicines Optimisation Team, using best practice guidance and evidence based reviews, and has been designed to help primary care prescribers consider:

  • Strategies to help optimize prescribing of antibiotics
  • Why antimicrobial stewardship is important at a personal, local and global level.

TARGET antibiotics toolkit

The TARGET (Treat Antibiotics Responsibly, Guidance, Education, Tools) antibiotic toolkit, produced by the RCGP, provides education for groups of primary care staff or individual clinicians. The toolkit aims to help decrease barriers to appropriate antibiotic prescribing, change social norms around prescribing, and influence clinicians’ and patients’ personal attitudes to antibiotic resistance and use.

PHE/ARHAI antimicrobial prescribing and stewardship competencies

Prescriber decision aids and tools

Centor criteriadeveloped to predict bacterial infection in people with acute sore throat. It can help guide clinicians as to whether a patient may benefit from antibiotic treatment.

Fever PAIN clinical scorecan help guide prescribers towards a no prescription strategy, delayed prescription, or immediate antibiotic prescription based on patients’ clinical symptoms. Using the tool calculates a score, gives a treatment guide and provides a summary to cut and paste in the notes.

NNT ‘smiley face’ plotsprovide a visual representation of the number needed to treat (NNT) for a single patient to benefit. These can be useful when explaining to patients why they may not benefit from antibiotic treatment.

Patient information leaflets and posters

Patient information leaflets

The RCGP TARGET antibiotics toolkit includes patient information leaflets and ‘non-prescription pads’ designed to be shared with patients during a consultation, to improve patients’ confidence to self care and prescribers’ communication with patients and carers.

RCGP TARGET Toolkit – Leaflets to share with patients

Several available  in Arabic, Bengali, Gujarati, Hindi, Mandarin, Polish, Urdu and other languages

Antibiotic awareness campaign

The Public Health England Antibiotic Guardian campaign for patients and healthcare professionals asks people to choose one simple pledge about how they will make better use of antibiotics to save these vital medicines from becoming obsolete.

Antimicrobial prescribing reports

NHS England Antibiotic Quality Premium Monitoring Dashboard

RDTC antimicrobial prescribing reports (link to RDTC website – password protected)

National antimicrobial reports

English surveillance programme antimicrobial utilization and resistance (ESPAUR) reports – ESPAUR reports include national data on antibiotic prescribing, antibiotic resistance and hospital antimicrobial stewardship implementation.

UK 5 Year Antimicrobial Resistance Strategy 2013 to 2018this strategy aims to slow the development and spread of antimicrobial resistance by focusing activities around 3 strategic aims:

  1. Improve the knowledge and understanding of antimicrobial resistance
  2. Conserve and steward the effectiveness of existing treatments
  3. Stimulate the development of new antibiotics, diagnostics and novel therapies

Annual report of the Chief Medical Officer 2011: volume two – this report highlights the need to look after the current supply of antibiotics, which means using better hygiene measures, prescribing fewer antibiotics, and making sure they are only prescribed when needed.