EducationI went to school in Birmingham and to Nottingham University
QualificationsBM BS BMedSci MRCP FRCGP MSc
Work HistoryI have been a GP in Salisbury for 28 years and have gradually done more and more research. I started with a small grant in 1993 and was formally employed by the university in 2005
Current JobProfessor of Primary Healthcare Research I am also the head of the academic unit of Primary Care and Population Sciences
University of Southampton
Tell us about your work on antimicrobial resistance?
I work as a GP in Salisbury but most of the time now I work in the University of Southampton as a clinical researcher. One of my main areas of work is looking at how best to manage common infections like sore throats coughs sinusitis and ear infections. We know that antibiotics don’t have much effect on the symptoms in these conditions but many people get worried by their symptoms and go to see their GP (family doctor). We know that often antibiotics get prescribed following the consultation. Sometimes antibiotics might be helpful but often not;despite this they end up being prescribed because of worries about more serious illness and in the absence of anything else effective. So my research focusses on how to identify those who really might need antibiotics and also on other ways to help the symptoms. Our group has looked at clinical scores, local tests and alternative approaches to symptom relief.
How does your work make things better for patients?
When you feel really ill with a sore throat or cough you want something to help you feel better and reassurance that there is not any more serious illness like pneumonia going on. Antibiotics in general are not the answer. We are trying to find better ways to target antibiotics and better non antibiotic options to help with the symptoms
What are the best 3 things you've seen in Primary Healthcare to combat antimicrobial resistance?
We have developed a scoring system for sore throat assessment (FeverPAIN) which helps identify those really needing antibiotics- using this score reduces antibiotic use and reduces symptom burden. We have also shown how a just in case prescription can reduce antibiotic use without any worse symptoms. We are looking now at the potential for traditional herbal medicines to help reduce reliance on antibiotics