Health leaders make pledge to tackle antibiotic resistance

Healthcare leaders from across the city will be at Gledhow Wing, St James’s University Hospital on Wednesday 14 and Thursday 15 November pledging to help tackle antibiotic resistance.

The event takes place during marking World Antibiotics Awareness Week (12 – 18 November) with local residents being encouraged to get involved. The pledge is linked to a Leeds wide campaign, Seriously Resistant (www.seriouslyresistant.com), which encourages local people to find out why the misuse or overuse of antibiotics is a huge threat to future healthcare.

The call for action picks up on a national campaign from Public Health England called ‘keep antibiotics working’.

According to Public Health England there were 12,250 antibiotic resistant infections diagnosed in 2013 but this has now risen to 16,504 in 2017.

Philomena Corrigan, Chief Executive for NHS Leeds Clinical Commissioning Group, said: “This year marks the 90th anniversary since the first antibiotic was discovered – penicillin. Since then we have seen a number of new antibiotics developed to fight new infections or bugs that have become resistant to previously developed treatments. However it is becoming increasingly difficult to respond quickly enough to drug-resistant bugs. So we need to act now.

“People are putting themselves and their families at risk by taking antibiotics when they’re not needed. For example if you have a cough or cold this is a viral infection, and antibiotics are not effective against viral infections. All you need is plenty of rest and a visit to your local pharmacy for remedies which you can buy over the counter.

“Antibiotics should only be used when we really need them, listen to you GP, pharmacist or nurse’s advice and only take antibiotics when necessary. If you are given antibiotics, it’s important that you finish the full course, not save them for future use and never share them with others.”

Professor Suzanne Hinchliffe, Deputy Chief Executive / Chief Nurse at Leeds Teaching Hospitals NHS Trust, said: “If you’re passing through Gledhow Wing make sure you come along and join our campaign to keep antibiotics working. Without effective antibiotics, minor infections and minor injuries kill again.

“We need to think about our future generation and not put their lives at risk because of antibiotic misuse. Public Health England has recently highlighted the rise in antibiotic resistant infections in England, which risks pushing medicine ‘back to the dark ages’.

“Across the healthcare system in Leeds, we’re working with healthcare professionals – in hospital and in community-based settings – so that we only prescribe antibiotics when it is necessary to do so.”

The Seriously Resistant campaign has been set up by the NHS in Leeds and Leeds City Council.

Get along to Gledhow Wing on Wednesday 14 November from 11am to 3pm or Thursday 15 November from 10am to 2pm to meet members of the campaign team and make a pledge. Or, visit the Seriously Resistant website (www.seriouslyresistant.com).

ENDS

Notes to editors

Antibiotic resistance

Both the NHS and health organisations across the world are trying to reduce the use of antibiotics, especially for conditions that aren’t serious.

The overuse of antibiotics in recent years means they’re becoming less effective and has led to the emergence of “superbugs”. These are strains of bacteria that have developed resistance to many different types of antibiotics, including:

  • Methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA)
  • Clostridium difficile (D.diff)
  • the bacteria that cause multi-drug-resistant tuberculosis (MDR-TB)
  • Carbapenemase-producing Enterbacteriaceae (CPE)

These types of infections can be serious and challenging to treat, and are becoming an increasing cause of disability and death across the world.

The biggest worry is that new strains of bacteria may emerge that can’t be effectively treated by any existing antibiotics.

For further information, visit NHS https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/antibiotics/

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Issued by the communications team at NHS Leeds CCG. You can contact the team on 0113 84 35528 or 0113 84 35470. Alternatively please email us: leedsccg.comms@nhs.net