Wellbeing and Greater Manchester Connected Health Cities Tackling Antibiotic Resistance

The WHO considers antibiotic resistance one of the biggest threats to global health today.

Antibiotics are prescribed to eliminate bacteria when we get an infection, or to protect us when our immune systems are particularly vulnerable. However, due to over and unnecessary prescribing, this medication is becoming less effective, leading to higher medical costs, prolonged hospital stays, and increased mortality. Latest figures suggest antibiotic resistant infections cost the NHS £180m every year.

In response, the Government aims to reduce inappropriate antibiotic prescribing by 50% by the end of 2020. Antibiotics should only be prescribed to patients who need it most, such as those who are at a high risk of developing infection-related complications.

Connected Health Cities (CHC) is a Department of Health (DoH) funded programme that aims to improve the health of the North of England through better use of healthcare data and citizen information. Funding is allocated across the North of England to establish Learning Health System (LHSs) in four city regions – North West Coast; Greater Manchester; the North East and North Cumbria; Yorkshire and Humber.

Greater Manchester Connected Health Cities (GM CHC) developed the BRIT Antibiotic Prescribing Dashboard to monitor prescribing patterns across GP practices, evaluating its appropriateness and helping primary care teams optimise their prescribing behaviours.

Connecting with Wellbeing Data Management Services (DMS)

Accessing and extracting large volumes of local primary care data through a trusted health information exchange was challenging for GM CHC. It relied heavily on participation from research-ready GP practices, many of which were already armed with Wellbeing’s Data Management Services Apollo solution (Apollo). The programme required support in developing an appropriate data query and report for harnessing and collating data to support the project objectives.

GM CHC chose to work with Wellbeing Software following a referral from a trusted partner site, backed up by Apollo’s reputation in the field of primary care data management and customer services.

Over 75 practices are participating in the BRIT project and benefiting from advanced analytics tailored to optimise antibiotic prescribing in their locality. Wellbeing DMS is being used to extract continuous flows of anonymised primary care data from Greater Manchester.

By using the platform, GM CHC is able to deliver advanced insights to primary care practitioners in the region and have a better understanding of the primary care data landscape and associated challenges, enabling the identification of potential participating practices within the Apollo footprint.

Francine Jury – Programme Manager at GM-CHC said:

“The challenge of reducing antibiotic prescribing is not straightforward. Using the BRIT dashboards allows prescribers to address safety issues around repeat prescribing, appropriate prescribing and ensuring a cohesive practice strategy around prescribing in general, to combat patient pressures. It has been well received and we hope now the infrastructure is in place we can start to see the impact of visualising complex data analytics in this way.”

Tony Megaw, Managing Director of Wellbeing DMS added:

“Antibiotic resistance could have a lasting impact on the wider population as diseases become more prevalent and potentially life-altering. We’re working alongside GM CHC to address the challenge, reduce overprescribing in primary care and mitigate long-term risks.”