Staff across the Royal Berkshire Hospital have been busy pledging their support and raising awareness of the issues around the misuse of antibiotics.
Each November, World Antibiotic Awareness Week (WAAW) aims to increase global awareness of antibiotic resistance and to encourage best practices among the general public, health workers and policy makers to avoid the further spread of antibiotic resistance.
Since their discovery, antibiotics have served as the cornerstone of modern medicine. However, the persistent overuse and misuse of antibiotics in human and animal health have encouraged the spread of antibiotic resistance, which occurs when microbes, such as bacteria, become resistant to the drugs used to treat them.
Antibiotic resistance is now one of the biggest threats facing us today. Without effective antibiotics many routine treatments will become increasingly dangerous. Setting broken bones, basic operations, even chemotherapy and animal health all rely on access to antibiotics that work.
Sanjay Desai, Associate Director of Medicines Optimisation at Berkshire West CCG said: “We do find that people attend GP surgeries asking for prescriptions for infections such as colds, sore throats and flu, which are viral infections. Antibiotics do not treat viral infections, and we would always recommend that patients should consult their local pharmacist who will be able to give advice as well as suggest over the counter medicines that can help treat these symptoms”
To slow resistance we need to cut the unnecessary use of antibiotics, and to support this, Public Health England is inviting the public, students and educators, medical and professional organisations, farmers and the veterinary communities to become Antibiotic Guardians. Their call to action is for people to make a pledge about how they will make better use of antibiotics and help save these vital medicines from becoming obsolete.
Lindsey Barker, Medical Director at the Royal Berkshire NHS Foundation Trust said: ”It’s great to see our teams across the hospital signing up staff, patients and visitors to make this pledge. This is an important initiative, to make as many people as possible aware of the consequences we face if we don’t take action wherever we can to avoid the misuse of antibiotics."
17 November 2018