A new health campaign launched today urges people to self-treat minor winter ailments, as research exposes nearly half the UK adult population still think antibiotics can treat cold and flu.
New research uncovers a distinct lack of awareness around the appropriate use of antibiotics for winter ailments like cold and flu, with almost half the population (45%) believing these can treat symptoms and slightly more (48%) admitting to visiting their GP with an expectation of being prescribed them.
In addition, new research from Doctors.net.uk, conducted to support the launch of the campaign, shows that GPs struggle to cope with their caseload as the months get colder. On average doctors say more than a quarter (28%) of their consultations in the winter months are for people with cold and flu symptoms that don’t warrant a GP appointment. Furthermore, five out of six GPs have felt pressured by their patients to prescribe an antibiotic when it wasn’t necessary.