EASI-PC: Understanding and responding to challenges in the diagnosis and management of cellulitis in primary care.


Welsh Government (NISCHR Health Fellowship)

Principal Investigator
Dr Nick Francis

Prof Chris Butler
Prof Kerenza Hood

Type of study
Modelling routine data

How frequently do patients present in primary care for skin and soft tissue infections (SSTI) and how have these changed over time; is there evidence of potential misdiagnosis of SSTI, how are SSTI managed, is there variation in practice that cannot be explained by patient factors.

Acute bacterial SSTI are a common reason for consulting in primary care, being prescribed antibiotics, and being admitted to hospital. More than 2.4 million general practice consultations were for skin infections in the year 1991-1992. One study reported an increase in flucloxacillin (used primarily for SSTI) prescribing in primary care between 1999 and 2005, despite little change in the incidence of skin infection in adults5. However, this study did not account for variation in the use of diagnostic codes or possible misdiagnosis, and did not explore clinician-level variation in practice. A wide range of conditions can be confused with SSTI, and making the diagnosis is known to be difficult.

Group role / contribution

Start date
Mar 2012

End date
Feb 2015