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Third of patients handed antibiotics for colds

Experts have said that more must be done to curb unnecessary prescribing of antibiotics after a new study found that the number of patients dished out the drugs for minor ailments has soared in recent years.

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Some GPs 'twice as likely' to prescribe antibiotics

Experts at Public Health England (PHE) and University College London have found that some practices were twice as likely to give a prescription for coughs and colds as those who dished out the fewest.

Some GPs twice as likely to prescribe antibiotics. Credit: PA

They examined data concerning patients registered with 537 UK GP practices and found that in 2011, the best performing practices were giving around 32% of patients antibiotics for coughs and colds compared to 65% in the worst performing GP surgeries.

The study, published in the Journal of Antimicrobial Chemotherapy, also found significant variation in the proportion of female patients aged 16 to 74 who were given one type of antibiotics for urinary tract infections (UTIs).

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