Providing quality care is not always popular among patients, with researchers from King’s College, London, revealing GPs reluctance to prescribe antibiotics leaves them feeling less than pleased with their consultation. An observational study of more than 95 per cent of general practices between 2012-13 revealed GPs who prescribed 25 per cent fewer antibiotics than the national average could expect a 0.5-1 per cent drop in patient satisfaction rates. Dr Mark Ashworth, GP and lead study author from the King’s Division of Health and Social Care Research, informed the Belfast Telegraph, Ireland, that “Many patients come in asking for antibiotics when they have viral infections such as colds, coughs, sore throats, or the flu, but antibiotics cannot treat viruses.” While GPs may feel pressured by patients to prescribe antibiotics, Dr Ashworth recommends the implementation of a support system for GPs who find in difficult to refuse patients, to help maintain patient satisfaction and manage those patients who directly ask for antibiotics. “Although small-scale studies have shown that dissatisfaction about not receiving an antibiotic can be offset if the patient feels that they have been listened to, or carefully examined, further research is needed to determine if this will help in the real world of busy GP practices,” said Dr Ashworth. To ensure patients receive acknowledgment regarding their concerns and feelings, and to increase patient satisfaction, it is also vital to keep them updated during their long waiting time. According to an article in Australian Doctor, NPS MedicineWise, says a “wait and see” approach whereby patients are advised to wait and take antibiotics only if symptoms do not resolve, is recommended. “When discussion of an antibiotic is difficult, a delayed prescription may also be an opportunity to begin patient organisation.” It’s also worth noting that 60 per cent of patients who receive “wait-and-see” prescriptions end up filling the script