Leeds health leaders pledge to tackle antibiotic resistance

Healthcare leaders in Leeds have made a pledge during World Antibiotic Awareness Week (13-19 November 2017) to tackle antibiotic resistance in an effort to combat the growth of ‘superbugs’.

(Above photo from left to right: Philip Howard, Consultant Antimicrobial Pharmacist at Leeds Teaching Hospitals NHS Trust, Dr Ian Cameron, Director of Public Health at Leeds City Council, Dr Tim Collyns, Consultant Microbiologist and Lead Infection Control at Leeds Teaching Hospitals NHS Trust)

The pledge is linked to a Leeds wide campaign, Seriously Resistant (www.seriouslyresistant.com), which is encouraging local people to find out why the misuse or overuse of antibiotics is a threat to future healthcare. The campaign is asking people to pledge their support to slow the growth of ‘superbugs’ so that treatments for conditions such as cancer continue to be effective.

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

According to figures from Public Health England at least 5,000 deaths are caused every year in England because antibiotics no longer work for some infections.

The NHS Leeds Clinical Commissioning Groups Partnership working closely with Leeds City Council, Leeds Teaching Hospitals NHS Trust, Leeds Community Healthcare NHS Trust and Leeds and York Partnership NHS Foundation Trust has developed the Seriously Resistant campaign.

It is really important we take action now so that we can ensure that antibiotics continue to work when we really need them. For example if you have a cough or cold this is usually often a viral infection, and antibiotics are not effective against viral infections. All you need is plenty of rest and remedies you can buy over the counter at your local pharmacy. If your GP has prescribed you antibiotics, it’s important that you finish the full course, not save them for future use and never share them with others.

Philomena CorriganChief Executive for NHS Leeds Clinical Commissioning Groups Partnership

Without taking action now we might head into a future where infections and minor injuries kill again. We are also working with healthcare professionals who prescribe treatments to ensure we make the most appropriate use of antibiotics and my pledge is to continue this education and awareness.

Dr Ian CameronDirector of Public Health at Leeds City Council

Without effective antibiotics, minor infections could become deadly and many medical advances could be at risk; surgery, chemotherapy and caesareans could become simply too dangerous but reducing inappropriate use of antibiotics can help us stay ahead of superbugs.

Professor Dame Sally DaviesChief Medical Officer for England

Over the coming weeks the Seriously Resistant campaign team will be making their way across a number of neighbourhoods Leeds with a ‘pledge hedge’. Local people will get a chance to add their pledges to the visual display or alternatively they can do so on the campaign’s website.

To find out more about antibiotic resistance and to sign a pledge please visit: www.seriouslyresistant.com

ENDS

Antibiotic resistance

There have been recent examples of how antibiotic resistance can cause health complications such as an outbreak of ‘super gonorrhoea in Leeds: www.bbc.co.uk/news/health-34269315

Using antibiotics when you don’t need them may mean that they won’t work for you when you do need them in the future.

If you have an antibiotic resistant bacterial infection:

  • You will have the infection for longer
  • You may be more likely to have complications of the infection
  • You could remain infectious for longer, and pass your infection to other people, which increases the problem.

Antibiotics and common health conditions

Many think that antibiotics can cure common health conditions such as sore throats, coughs, colds and earaches, and will help to shorten their illness. However, in general these common health conditions cannot and should not be treated by antibiotics. You can visit your local pharmacist for self-care advice on these common health conditions or if advised by the pharmacist to buy over the counter medication.

If your GP has prescribed you antibiotics, it’s important that you finish the full course, not save them for future use and never share them with others.

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