Why these local private GPs don’t agree with pharmacy antibiotic plan

As the Government announces its recovery plan for NHS General Practice, GPs at a private surgery in Merseyside have expressed concerns about proposals for community pharmacies to start prescribing antibiotics.

Under the Government’s new plan, pharmacists will be able to prescribe antibiotics for the treatment of certain infections, including earache, sinusitis, and sore throat. Yet evidence shows that, in most cases, antibiotics are not needed as these infections will get better on their own. If antibiotics are taken, they risk causing harm – by increasing rates of antibiotic resistance, or by causing side-effects such as diarrhoea. For this reason, doctors at Formby GP, a private practice in Freshfield, have spoken out against the plans.

Clinical Director, Dr John Cosgrove, says: “As GPs we know that the vast majority of upper respiratory tract infections do not require antibiotics. At Formby GP we pride ourselves on offering our patients whatever treatment they need, based on the highest quality evidence available. As highly experienced GPs, we are particularly concerned by the risks posed by unnecessary antibiotic treatment.”

Formby GP is a private GP service in Freshfield, run by married couple Dr Heather Ryan and Dr John Cosgrove. Heather and John launched Formby GP in January, a private surgery that promises unhurried appointments with a continuity of care. They describe their service as “ethical” because they aim to avoid unnecessary tests and treatments.


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