Who is it for:

Primary care prescribers including: GPs, GPNs, practice managers, pharmacists, AHPs, medical students and all colleagues working in primary care teams who discuss antibiotic management and treatment options with patients.


A webinar in two halves, the first 30 minutes will help prescribers enhance their shared decision making with patients about using antibiotics in ways that effectively manage common infections and reduce unnecessary antibiotic use.

The second half will enhance knowledge and confidence of prescribers to use back up/delayed antibiotics, as recommended by NICE.

Programmed to coincide with World Antimicrobial Awareness Week, this webinar will be presented by Dr Linda Strettle, a general practitioner working in a primary care setting, and include a panel Q&A session with colleagues from the TARGET team and the ‘STEP-UP’ research study team.

Part One:

“Do I need antibiotics?” – discussing antibiotic use with patients and putting shared decision making into practice

Learning objectives:

Identify quick and easy communication methods that will enhance your discussions and improve shared decision making with patients
Understand how the use of patient information leaflets can help the shared decision-making process


Effective prescriber–patient communication is an integral part of the consultation process as it facilitates shared decision making, patient empowerment and satisfaction with care.

Although it is thought that perceived patient demand drives unnecessary antibiotic prescribing, a 2021 survey of the general public found that the majority of the respondents trust their health care provider advice, and found an increase in those wanting information on whether or not they actually needed antibiotics.

Prescribers already have good general communication skills and have their own individual approaches. However, given short consultations, it is easy to miss out an important element of a consultation or rush over an explanation. This can have a big impact on whether patients are happy with a prescribing decision.

This course will help you tweak discussions around antibiotics with patients in ways that can lead to increased patient satisfaction, reduced consultations and reduced antibiotic prescribing.

Part Two:

Back-up/delayed antibiotic prescriptions: why and how to use them in primary care settings

Learning objectives:

Understand the evidence for using back-up/delayed antibiotic prescriptions
Recognise when it is appropriate to use back-up/delayed antibiotic prescriptions
Discover quick and easy tips on how to explain delayed antibiotic prescriptions to patients
Learn different ways to issue delayed antibiotic prescriptions


Using back-up/delayed antibiotic prescriptions is recommended in NICE guidelines, and when used appropriately can be a useful antimicrobial stewardship tool.

Research evidence from UK-based studies [1-3] and a Cochrane systematic review [4] has shown that using back-up/delayed antibiotic prescriptions (instead of immediate antibiotic prescriptions) with a good explanation is a safe and effective strategy for managing common respiratory tract infections to: reduce re-consultations, prevent complications, reduce antibiotic use, and increase a patients ability to self-manage infection.

This webinar will cover the how and why of back up/delayed prescription use and provide useful tips for discussing these types of prescriptions with patients.

  1. Little P, Moore M, Kelly J, Williamson I, Leydon G, McDermott L, … Stuart B. Delayed antibiotic prescribing strategies for respiratory tract infections in primary care: pragmatic, factorial, randomised controlled trial. BMJ. 2014; 348:g1606. https://doi.org/10.1136/bmj.g1606
  2. Little P, Stuart B, Hobbs FR, Butler CC, Hay AD, Delaney B, … Everitt H. Antibiotic prescription strategies for acute sore throat: a prospective observational cohort study. The Lancet Infectious Diseases. 2014; 14(3):213-219. https://doi.org/10.1016/S1473-3099(13)70294-9
  3. Little P, Stuart B, Smith S, Thompson MJ, Knox K, van den Bruel A, … Mant D. Antibiotic prescription strategies and adverse outcome for uncomplicated lower respiratory tract infections: prospective cough complication cohort (3C) study. BMJ. 2017; 357:j2148. https://doi.org/10.1136/bmj.j2148
  4. Spurling GK, Del Mar CB, Dooley L, Foxlee R, Farley R. Delayed antibiotic prescriptions for respiratory infections. Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews. 2017(9). https://doi.org/10.1002/14651858.CD004417.pub5