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Project #102:
The impact of COVID-19 on prescribing of long-term and repeated antimicrobials in primary care to evaluate antimicrobial stewardship interventions

  • Type: Service evaluation
  • Topic areas: Other/indirect impacts of COVID on health/healthcare

The number of infections that have become resistant to antibiotic treatment has increased over the past years. This antibiotic resistance can be driven by increased antibiotic use. Using antibiotics carefully and only when needed, also known as antimicrobial stewardship, is therefore important to reduce the spread of antibiotic resistance.

The COVID-19 pandemic has had an impact on antibiotic prescribing. For example, it has resulted in more prescriptions being given for dental infections. General Practitioners also say that they were more likely to give antibiotics for throat infections during the pandemic, hence increasing antibiotic use.

General practice gives out the majority of antibiotics in England. This project therefore will investigate the impact that the COVID-19 pandemic has had on long-term and repeated antimicrobial prescribing in general practice. This includes, for example, antibiotics prescribed regularly for infections of the lung, bladder and skin.


  • Evaluate the impact of COVID-19 on long-term and repeated prescriptions of antimicrobials in general practice
  • Produce guidance tools to support healthcare colleagues in general practice to review patients on long-term and/or repeated antimicrobials
  • Share knowledge with scientific colleagues to encourage wise use of antibiotics and help reduce antibiotic resistance