The Royal Pharmaceutical Society has published guidance on polypharmacy for pharmacists and all healthcare organisations involved with medicines. Read it here: Polypharmacy: Getting our medicines right

Electronic repeat prescribing (eRP) is being rolled out across practices to support the response to COVID-19. A range of training and implementation tools including the Electronic Repeat Dispensing Handbook, and a “how to” video guide are available on the Wessex AHSN website.

For a  summary of the key online prescribing resources – from BNF to MHRA – see Online support for prescribers, GM Journal, 17 November 2020

Learning resources

SCRIPT e-learning is an innovative programme, commissioned by HEE, to encourage safe and effective prescribing and medicines management among newly qualified doctors and other healthcare professionals. SCRIPT e-learning is now freely available to anyone with a NHS email address. For more information visit, email or follow @safeprescriber on Twitter.

Guidance for pharmacist prescribers published by the General Pharmaceutical Council,  describes key areas that pharmacist prescribers must consider in order to prescribe safe and effectively.

E-learning modules: medicines and medical devices – the Medicines and Healthcare Products Regulatory Agency (MHRA) has produced several free e-learning modules including: Antipsychotics, Benzodiazepines, Opioids and Oral anticoagulants.

Keep up to date with BNF – Centre for Pharmacy Postgraduate Education (CPPF) have developed short modules exploring  recent changes in structure to the BNFwebsite, the latest BNF app and the latest edition of the book. The NICE website also has BNF and NICE guidelines apps

Apps for pharmacy – CPPE have developed a learning module all about apps which are useful for pharmacists and pharmacy technicians in their practice. Some of them are sources of information, some can be used during consultations with patients and some are for signposting to support healthy lifestyles and self-care.

Inhaler technique – Eesources around helping patients improve their inhaler technique from CPPE .

Antibiotic prescribing

Antibiotic consumption continues to fall year-on-year, driven by a continued decrease in general practices where most antibiotics continue to be prescribed. The latest PHE report indicates that total antibiotic prescribing in primary care settings decreased by 13.7% from 2015 to 2019.
English surveillance programme for antimicrobial utilisation and resistance (ESPAUR) report 2019-20, PHE 18 November 2020

GPs are trusted to decide whether an antibiotic should be prescribed, and they have been expected to provide information to patients about the need (or not) for antibiotics, and about self-care and the issue of antimicrobial resistance. However a PHE survey indicates that people are still not receiving enough information about antibiotics when they attend primary care.
What the public know about antibiotic use and resistance, and how we may influence it. Findings from a 2017 national survey, PHE 10 November 2020

A GP guide to antimicrobial resistance– a HEE video describing the significant threat posed by Antimicrobial resistance.

The TARGET Antibiotics Toolkit (Treat antibiotics responsibly, guidance, education tools) is a range of educational materials for GPs and other primary-care prescribers. It includes a range of resources that can each be used to support prescribers’ and patients’ responsible antibiotic use, helping to fulfil CPD and revalidation requirements. It includes a range of training modules including the TARGET antibiotic Training Modules developed by PHE and the British Society for Antimicrobial Chemotherapy (BSAC), highlighting key easy actions you can take to help improve antibiotic prescribing, the patient journey and self-care and reducing future consultations.

The Antibiotic Resistance in Primary Care course will assist you in identifying the need for optimised antibiotic prescribing, as well as equipping you with tools for improving your antibiotic prescribing. Evidence showing the link between prescribing and resistance rates in GP patients is explored and useful resources to use in your surgery are included.

Antimicrobial Resistance and Infections– an introductory module from e-LfH aimed at all health and social care staff, and a myriad of resources to support awareness and education of clinical staff on antimicrobial resistance in different care settings.

Antimicrobial prescribing guidelines from NICE/PHE are evidence-based, clinical syndrome specific guidance and advice to help slow the development of antimicrobial resistances. Existing Public Health England guidance on management and treatment of common infections will be replaced over the next few years by new NICE/PHE antimicrobial prescribing guidelines.

Health matters: antimicrobial resistance– guidance from PHE on antimicrobial resistance, effective methods to avoid unnecessary prescribing of antibiotics and advice for healthcare professionals.

Antimicrobial prescribing: resources for professional development and practice – guidance from PHE in antibiotic prescribing, including CPD resources and antimicrobial prescribing toolkits such as the TARGET toolkit developed with the Centre for Pharmacy Postgraduate Education and National Prescribing Centre. (Last updated November 2014)

The CPD Zone is brought to you by the GP schools of Health Education England working across Thames Valley and Wessex, in association with Oxford Health FT Library.​

Page last reviewed: 27 November, 2020