Dr David Kelly, a local GP and Chair of NHS North Kirklees Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) and Dr Steve Ollerton, local GP and Clinical Chair of NHS Greater Huddersfield CCG, have pledged to become ‘Antibiotic Guardians’.
They will be encouraging all GPs in their member practices to join them in only prescribing antibiotics where they are really needed. GPs and patients will be encouraged to also sign up to become ‘Antibiotic Guardians’ too at http://antibioticguardian.com/.
The Antibiotic Guardian pledge campaign calls on the public and medical community to become antibiotic guardians by choosing one simple pledge about how they will make better use of these vital medicines. This comes in the countdown to European Antibiotic Awareness Day on Wednesday 18 November, a national campaign by Public Health England.
Antibiotics are essential medicines for treating bacterial infections in both humans and animals, but they are increasingly losing their effectiveness. Bacteria can adapt and find ways to survive the effects of an antibiotic so that the antibiotic no longer works. The more you use an antibiotic, the more bacteria become resistant to it.
Dr Ollerton said: “I would like to reinforce the message to all the GPs about the importance of prescribing antibiotics only when necessary. We are asking everyone across the area to support this as one of the greatest threats to the health of our nation is antibiotic resistance.”
There are very few new antibiotics in development, which is why it is important existing antibiotics are used wisely and these life-saving medicines continue to stay effective for ourselves and future generations. Many antibiotics are prescribed and used for mild infections when they do not need to be, say campaigners. All colds and most coughs, sinusitis, earache and sore throats often get better without antibiotics.
Dr Ollerton also asks patients to remember: “Antibiotics should only be taken as prescribed, and never save for later or shared with others. It is also important to use antibiotics in the right way – the right dose, at the right time for the right duration. Appropriate use of antibiotics will slow down the development of antibiotic resistance.”