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Oliver van Hecke


NIHR Academic Clinical Lecturer

I am an academic GP and completed my doctoral studies in 2018 at Oxford. My research interests are in common infections in the community, optimising antibiotic use and antibiotic resistance. This stems from my work as a generalist practising in the NHS with first-hand experience of the difficulties that GP’s encounter. 

Antibiotic overuse increases the likelihood of developing an antibiotic-resistant infection. Yet, theoretical predictions about the consequences of antibiotic resistance can seem abstract and remote, and do not address more immediate concerns about the implications of inappropriate antibiotic use, antibiotic-resistant infections and the clinical relevance in the community. 

My doctoral thesis assessed the consequences and behaviours associated with antibiotic prescribing and antibiotic resistance in primary care and explored ways in which these can inform the design and implementation of future public campaigns that aim to reduce this. My postdoctoral work will follow-on from these findings to develop and test novel interventions (including rapid diagnostic tests) to optimise antibiotic use for common infections in primary care. 

Beyond infectious diseases and the major antibiotic challenge, my other research interests include chronic pain and its wider influence on multi-morbidity and poor health, and the use of medical chaperones in general practice. 

Other roles: 

Member, NIHR Community Healthcare MIC (MedTech and In vitro diagnostics Co-operative) (2018-current)

Member of Council, British Society of Antimicrobial Chemotherapy (2018-current)

Department ambassador, Society for Academic Primary Care (SAPC) (2017-current)