Easington tops list of highest number of antidepressant prescriptions in England

A doctor writing out a prescription.  Credit: PA.
A doctor writing out a prescription. Credit: PA.

More antidepressants are prescribed to residents of a County Durham village than anywhere else, according to new statistics.

Data compiled by the House of Commons Library shows Easington had the highest number of prescriptions for antidepressants in England in 2015.

Prescription drugs. Credit: PA.

Prescription drugs. Credit: PA.

The village tops the list with 2,136 prescriptions per 1,000 people registered with a GP.

In second and third place, are Houghton & Sunderland South, and Blackpool South, respectively.

Also prescribing high numbers are family doctors in Hartlepool, with 1,406 items of antidepressant medication issued.

Easington also saw the second highest number of proscriptions - after Louth & Horncastle in Lincolnshire - for any medication in the whole of the country with 32.4 items per person last year.

Prescription drugs. Credit: PA.

Prescription drugs. Credit: PA.

For antibacterial drugs, Easington came third, after Clacton in Essex, and Redcar in the Tees Valley.

The study found that rates of antidepressant prescribing are lower in areas with a higher black and minority ethnic (BME) population.

These areas also tend to prescribe a higher proportion of drugs in the following categories: diabetes, antihistamines, and skin conditions.

Prescription rates for obesity, bronchodilators - taken for conditions including asthma and COPD - and psychoses are higher in areas with more deprived households

Bronchodilators also tend to be the most closely linked - along with prescriptions for painkillers, and nausea and vertigo - to areas where more people have long term health problems

The statistics were pulled together as they prescription rates for medicines and treatments provide a useful measure of the burden of illness and disease across the country.

The Commons Library briefing looks at constituency level statistics for GP prescribing across England and shows which areas have the highest and lowest prescription rates, as well as rates for specific drugs.

The lowest prescription rates are all found in London Boroughs; Kensington (9.5 items per person registered with a GP), Cities of London & Westminster (9.5) and Hampstead & Kilburn (9.8).

After adjusting for differing age structures, the constituencies with the highest cost of prescriptions per head are Knowsley in Merseyside, Blackley and Broughton in Greater Manchester, and Liverpool Walton. The lowest are found in Beaconsfield in Buckinghamshire, Twickenham in London, and Chesham & Amersham in Buckinghamshire.