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Local NHS supports Antibiotic Awareness Day

NHS Nottingham City Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) is supporting European Antibiotic Awareness Day on 18 November to help tackle the rise in antibiotic resistance. Working in collaboration with neighbouring CCGs around the county, the CCG is encouraging local people to use antibiotics exactly as prescribed and only when needed.

“Increasing resistance to antibiotics is one of the most significant threats to patient safety across Europe, and one that local people can help do something about,” said Mindy Bassi, Assistant Director of Medicines Management at NHS Nottingham City CCG. “It’s really important that patients always follow their doctor’s advice on when and how to use antibiotics in a responsible way so that antibiotics can stay effective in the future.”

Antibiotics are important medicines used to treat infections caused by bacteria. Bacteria can adapt and find ways to survive the effects of an antibiotic; they become ‘antibiotic resistant’ so that the antibiotic no longer works. The more often we use an antibiotic, the more likely it is that bacteria will become resistant to it. Over- and inappropriate use of antibiotics cause antibiotic-resistant bacteria to increase and so antibiotics become less effective. Some bacteria that cause infections in hospitals, such as MRSA, are already resistant to several antibiotics.

Antibiotics are not the solution for infections caused by viruses such as common colds and flu. They are effective only against bacterial infections. The correct diagnosis and the decision about whether antibiotics are necessary can only be made by a medical doctor. Taking antibiotics for the wrong reasons, such as against colds or flu, has no benefit.

Remember:
  • Antibiotics won’t work against a cold or flu
  • When you are prescribed antibiotics it is very important to take them exactly as instructed.
  • Do not keep left over antibiotic treatments. Ask your pharmacist how to dispose of them.
Using antibiotics when you don’t need them, or giving them to other people can cause bacteria to become more resistant to the treatments, so when you or your family do need antibiotics in the future they may no longer work.

Published: 13 November 2013