NHS England has today launched the world’s largest healthcare incentive scheme for hospitals, family doctors and other health service providers to prevent the growing problem of antibiotic resistance.
Launched against the backdrop of the International Patient Safety Conference taking place at Lancaster House in London today, funding will be made available to hospitals and other providers that reduce the inappropriate use of antibiotics.
Antibiotic resistance is one of the most significant threats to patients’ safety worldwide and is driven by overusing antibiotics and prescribing them inappropriately. Infections with antibiotic-resistant bacteria increase levels of disease and death, as well as the length of time people stay in hospitals. As resistance in bacteria grows, it will become more difficult to treat infection, and this affects patient care.
The NHS’ new programme, which goes live in April 2016, will offer hospitals incentive funding worth up to £150 million to support expert pharmacists and clinicians review and reduce inappropriate prescribing. In addition, a typical local Clinical Commissioning Group with a population of 300,000 people could receive up to £150,000 a year to support GP practices improve their antimicrobial prescribing.
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