Patients less satisfied by GPs who refuse antibiotics

A study published in the British Journal of General Practice, compared the

prescribing rates of more than

95% of all GP surgeries in

England to a survey of patient


The study found that patients are less satisfied with their

prescription but that patients' satisfaction rose when

they were listened to or carefully


In the study, doctors who

prescribed 25% fewer antibiotics

saw a modest reduction in

patient satisfaction with them or

with their surgery.

The General Practice Patient

Survey invites nearly three

million adults registered with GPs

in England to comment on the

quality of their care every year.

Dr Mark Ashworth, GP and lead

study author, from the King's

College London division of health

and social care research, said:

"GPs often feel pressured by

patients to prescribe antibiotics

and find it difficult to refuse a

patient who asks for them.

"GPs who are frugal in their

antibiotic prescribing may need

support to maintain patient


Dr Tim Ballard, vice chair of the

Royal College of GPs, said the

findings were concerning.

"It is frustrating that GP practices

that are working hard to reduce

inappropriate antibiotics

prescribing face falling patient

satisfaction ratings.

"It truly is a case of being

damned if we do and damned if

we don't.

Public perception

needs to change – our patients

need to understand that when

diseases become resistant to

antibiotics, it means that

antibiotics will cease to work and

as it stands, we don't have an



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