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A considerable and increasing proportion of GPs in England work as locums. Many interventions in general practice are focussed on antibiotic stewardship but these rarely consider the role of locum GPs. Locum GPs might have different experiences of, and approach to, antibiotic prescribing and antimicrobial stewardship than GP partners or salaried GPs who work in the same practice for longer time. The aim of this study is to explore the role of locum GPs in antimicrobial stewardship and optimising antibiotic prescribing in general practice.

why this is important

Unnecessary use of antibiotics contributes to growing antimicrobial resistance. The majority of antibiotics are prescribed in general practice so reducing unnecessary prescriptions of antibiotics by GPs can help preserve antibiotics for when they are really needed. Exploring the experiences of locum GPs can identify how we can better support locum GPs in reducing unnecessary antibiotic prescriptions and providing better care to patients.


In this study we will use statistical methods to analyse data on antibiotic prescribing in general practices to see if there are any differences between prescribing rates of locum GPs and other prescribers.

We will conduct telephone interviews with locum GPs to ask about their views and experiences related to antibiotic prescribing when working in different practices.

research team

Dr Aleksandra Borek, Dr Koen Pouwels, Dr Oliver van Hecke, Dr Sarah Tonkin-Crine, Professor Chris Butler (University of Oxford), and Dr Julie Robotham (Public Health England)

Funder: Royal College of General Practitioners Scientific Foundation Board