NHS in North East Lincolnshire asks people to become Antibiotics Guardians to encourage responsible use of the drugs

North East Lincolnshire Clinical Commissioning Group (NELCCG) is encouraging members of the public and healthcare professionals to become ‘Antibiotic Guardians’ as part of marking European Antibiotics Awareness Day on Tuesday 18 November.

The aim of the day is to encourage the responsible use and prescribing of antibiotics, and increase understanding about how overusing antibiotics can significantly reduce their effectiveness and threaten the health of the person taking them.

Antibiotics are important medicines for treating bacterial infections, but are losing their effectiveness at an increasing rate. Bacteria adapt and find new ways to survive the effects of an antibiotic and become resistant, meaning that the antibiotic no longer works. This resistance to antibiotics is one of the most significant threats to the safety of patients in Europe.

Members of the public and health professionals are encouraged become an Antibiotic Guardian at www.antibioticguardian.com.  Choose one simple pledge about how you will make better use of antibiotics and help save this vital medicine from becoming obsolete.

By pledging members of the public will find out how they can make better use of antibiotics and help to stop this vital medicine from becoming obsolete.

Inappropriate use includes:

• Not taking your antibiotics as prescribed
• Saving some for later.
• Sharing them with others

Inappropriate prescribing includes:
• unnecessary prescription of antibiotics
• wrong selection of antibiotics
• Inappropriate duration or dose of antibiotics

Dr Sudhakar Allamsetty, Prescribing Lead at the CCG and GP said: “Antibiotic resistance is an everyday issue in all hospitals and community settings across England and Europe. Without effective antibiotics, many routine treatments will become increasingly dangerous. Setting broken bones, basic operations and even chemotherapy all rely on antibiotics that work.

“The more often we use antibiotics, the more likely it is that bacteria will become resistant to it. Some bacteria that cause infections in the hospitals like MRSA, are resistant to several antibiotics.

“All colds and most coughs and sore throats are caused by viruses and generally these will get better on their own. Antibiotics do not work against infections caused by viruses. Consider alternatives by asking a pharmacist about over-the-counter remedies that can help in the first instance.

“GPs and other clinicians also have a role to play by not prescribing them inappropriately. It is important to prescribe the antibiotics in the right way- use the right drug, at the right dose and for the right duration and patients should use them exactly as prescribed, never save them for later and never share them with others.”

Signing up as an Antibiotic Guardian is a positive step to find out more about the correct use of antibiotics and what people and health professionals themselves can do to ensure the drugs remain a valuable and effective resource for everyone.

For more information please click here

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