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.
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).
More top news
Sunshine in short supply
A man has died after his head was crushed in a freak accident involving an electronic seat at Vue Cinema in Star City, Birmingham.
Is it possible to have micro-targeting and the use of detailed psychological profiling in political campaigns?