NHS Hambleton Richmondshire and Whitby, NHS Harrogate and Rural District and NHS Scarborough and Ryedale Clinical Commissioning Groups (CCGs) are backing a national campaign which aims to increase awareness of antibiotic resistance.
The campaign known as ‘World Antibiotics Awareness Week’ will run from 18 to 22 November targeting the general public, health workers and policy makers to improve awareness and understanding of antibiotic resistance through effective communications, education and training.
Speaking on behalf of the three clinical commissioning groups in North Yorkshire, Dr Tim Rider, GP Prescribing Lead, said: “Taking antibiotics inappropriately encourages harmful bacteria that live inside you to become resistant. That means that antibiotics may not work when you really need them. This puts you and your family at risk of a more severe or longer illness.
“If you or a family member has a cold or flu, antibiotics probably aren’t the answer, ask your pharmacist to recommend medicines to help with the symptoms or pain, they are experts in minor illnesses.
“Antibiotics are needed for serious bacterial infections such as sepsis, pneumonia, urinary tract infections, meningococcal meningitis and sexually transmitted diseases. If you are worried you may have something more serious than a cold or flu, speak to your doctor who will be able to advise you on the best treatment option.”
With no new antibiotics developed in the last 30 years patients are encouraged only to take them if they need to. Taking them unnecessarily could make them less effective when fighting serious infections.
Without the effectiveness of antibiotics, routine operations like hip replacements, organ transplants and caesarean sections or chemotherapy treatments will become increasingly dangerous or impossible.
Patients can support the campaign by becoming an ‘Antibiotic Guardian’ at: https://antibioticguardian.com/
More information on the campaign can be found on the World Health Organisation website: https://www.who.int/campaigns/world-antibiotic-awareness-week