GPs in Kirklees are making a stand in the battle against the increasing resistance of diseases to antibiotics and the implications to health.
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 Friday 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 will usually get better without antibiotics.
Dr David Kelly 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.”
The CCGs are currently asking schoolchildren in Kirklees to help raise awareness of the potential dangers of overusing antibiotics by designing a superbug. The competition is for children aged 12 and under to show us what a superbug of the future could look like.
For our competition, superbugs can be drawn, painted, made from a collage – anything really as long as pictures are on an A4 sheet of paper. We’re asking for the original pictures please, not photocopies, and the child’s full name, age, school and class should be written clearly on the back of their picture. All entries should be returned to the following address by Friday 18 November 2016.
Design a superbug competition
c/o Kirklees Council Document Solutions
9 Colne Road
Huddersfield HD1 3ER
The winning entry will be announced on Monday 28 November 2016. The chosen superbug will be used in the CCGs’ publicity throughout the rest of this year and into next year, to spread the important message that we need antibiotics to be able to treat these superbugs and we can all play our part.