NHS Greater Glasgow & Clyde Area Drug and Therapeutics Committee
Greater Glasgow and Clyde Medicines
Medicines Update

European Antibiotic Awareness Day

18th November is European Antibiotic Awareness Day. This highlights the global increasing problem of antimicrobial resistance. The Department of Health published a strategy last year which aims to slow down the development and spread of antimicrobial resistance by improving knowledge and understanding of resistance, conserving effectiveness of existing antibiotics and stimulating the development of new drugs and diagnostics.


The Scottish Government published the Scottish Management of Antimicrobial Resistance Action Plan 2014-18 (ScotMARAP2) in July and this informs the work plan of the Scottish Antimicrobial Prescribing Group (SAPG) for the next four years.


Acute care antimicrobial targets

In April 2014, SAPG introduced a new target for downstream (continuing care) medical wards. These targets are

  • ≥ 95% prescriptions for antibiotics have the indication for the antibiotic recorded
  • ≥95% the choice of antibiotic is as per NHSGGC guidelines
  • ≥95% of oral antibiotics have the duration recorded on the drug kardex
  • ≥95% of durations recorded are as per NHSGGC guidelines.


Every month data from 20 oral antibiotic prescriptions is collected in designated sites in NHSGGC. Latest results show we are meeting the first target for recording the indication for treatment, but not for the others.


The most common reasons for non-compliance with guideline drug choice is dual antibiotic treatment (amoxicillin + clarithromycin) for lower respiratory tract infection (LRTI). This indication is also a common reason for not meeting the target on correct duration of therapy. LRTI should have a five day treatment duration.


Actions required

All prescribers should ensure that oral antibiotic duration is recorded on the Kardex and that this is compliant with the duration specified in the NHSGGC guidelines. The areas where particular care is required are LRTI, where the duration is 5 days, and for patients changing from IV to oral antibiotics.


Encourage patients to visit http://antibioticguardian.com and sign up to commit to not demanding antibiotics for coughs and colds but go to their community pharmacist for symptomatic treatment.


For information relevant to primary care, see Medicines Update Primary Care October 2014.