|* Dr Ellen Wright|
by our RBG Correspondent | Woolwich
The first ever World Antibiotic Awareness Week runs from 16-22 November 2015 and in the Royal Borough of Greenwich, the Council and local GPs are asking local people to think twice before asking their GPs for antibiotics in the future, particularly over the winter period.
Both the Royal Borough and the Greenwich NHS Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) have joined the online ‘Antibiotics Guardian’ campaign, in which organisations and individuals pledge to help spread the message about treating antibiotics as a precious resource.
The commitment reflects this year’s campaign theme which is ‘Antibiotics: handle with care’, reflecting the need for us to start treating antibiotics as a precious resource rather than an everyday medicine. Through the campaign, patients are being asked to reflect on how often we really need them.
“Antibiotic resistance has become a big problem in the UK and around the world” explains Dr Ellen Wright (top right), Clinical Chair of Greenwich CCG. “Using antibiotics more often than we need to means that bacteria become more ‘clever’ and change in response – leading to antibiotic resistance. This makes it much more difficult for the NHS to treat infectious diseases, such as pneumonia and tuberculosis. It also means that routine operations, such as setting broken bones, become much more dangerous as antibiotic resistance makes it more difficult for the body to fight post-operative infections. With today’s hectic lifestyles, not many people have the time to be ill, and antibiotics have come to be seen as a magical cure for a whole range of niggles, such as a cold or sore throat.
“If you need some help with symptoms, please contact your local community pharmacist for advice.
“Unless we change the way we use antibiotics as a form of treatment, antibiotic resistance will only grow to become a bigger problem in the future.”
|* Cllr Scott-McDonald|
Cllr Denise Scott-McDonald (right) , the Royal Borough of Greenwich’s Cabinet Member for Community Wellbeing and Public Health, added, “The Council recognises that antibiotics are a precious resource, and we can all make an effort to protect them. We intend to play our part, and Royal Greenwich is signed up to the national Antibiotic Guardian campaign. I encourage all members of the public and healthcare professionals to sign up and become guardians too.
“As winter approaches, it is important to remember that antibiotics do not work on colds, most coughs and sore throats and we should always use them with care. By helping to support doctors to prescribe only when necessary we can help keep our antibiotics working for those times when we need them most.”
Key tips from health professionals include:
* Antibiotics should be used to treat bacterial infections, and should only be used when prescribed your GP or another appropriate health professional.
* Antibiotics should never be shared
* Always complete the full course of antibiotic treatment – don’t save them for the future.
* Play your part in helping prevent the spread of infections, by regularly washing your hands, taking extra care when preparing food, avoiding close contact with sick people and keeping vaccinations up to date.
For more information on the campaign, and to pledge your support please visit: www.antibioticguardian.com.