Guidance on the management of sore throat and indications for tonsillectomy has been published by the Scottish Intercollegiate Guidelines Network.
The aim of the guideline is to “suggest a rational approach” to the management of acute sore throat in primary care and provide criteria for referral for tonsillectomy for the treatment of recurrent tonsillitis.
SIGN said the guidance was needed because of the continuing burden of sore throat and tonsillitis on the NHS in Scotland, with GP consultations costing in excess of £10.9m per annum.
It said: “The management of sore throat is a significant burden on health service resources. Although the condition is often relatively minor and self limiting, some patients experience unacceptable morbidity and loss of education or earnings due to recurrent sore throat.
“Precise clinical diagnosis is difficult in practice. The use of antibiotics in patients with recurrent sore throat has been controversial. The indications for referral for tonsillectomy have long been a matter for debate,” it added.
The guidance covers children and adults, and supersedes a document published in 1999.