Antibacterial – MO opportunities


At the end of July 2023 NHSE published guidance titled “National medicines optimisation opportunities 2023/24”. This guidance describes the 16 national medicines optimisation opportunities for the NHS in 2023/24, and signposts to resources to help with their implementation. It recommends Integrated Care Boards (ICBs) choose at least five medicines optimisation opportunities to focus and deliver on alongside their local medicines optimisation priorities. Progress against chosen opportunities will be reviewed using available data.

This report has data at SICBL, ICB and Commissioning Region level and focuses on the antibacterial MO opportunities:

  • Reducing course length of antimicrobial prescribing
  • Switching intravenous antibiotics to oral

NHS England Aims:

  • Reduce course length of antimicrobial prescribing to 5 days for specific common infections, where appropriate: sinusitis, sore throat, COPD infective exacerbation, cough (acute), pneumonia (community-acquired) and otitis media.
  • To reduce the number of patients receiving IV antibiotics past the point at which they meet the switch criteria and to reduce the proportion of IV doses.

The report is provided to NHS colleagues only, please do not share outside the NHS.

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Data period

January 2021 to December 2023

Antimicrobial prescribing across primary and secondary care

Strategic Insight reports are designed to support strategic objectives and planning by Integrated Care System leaders. Through the analysis of data and communication with key stakeholders across the ICS, interventions to be undertaken by the ICS are proposed to Integrated Care Boards or associated committees.

This report combines primary and secondary care medicines usage data for antimicrobials. It supports ICBs in the consideration of system-wide ICS medicines data for a complete overview of system prescribing.

Antimicrobial prescribing across the North of England

This bulletin provides an update on the current primary care antimicrobial prescribing trends at ICS level in the North of England. It specifically focuses on primary care prescribing, including the top 10 antibacterial drugs prescribed and the variation in the proportion of broad spectrum antibacterials prescribed across the ICSs.