‘The future of antibiotics is in our hands’ is the message from city’s health leaders

Members of the Leeds Health and Wellbeing Board are sending a key message to Leeds residents, by telling them ‘the future of antibiotics is in our hands’.

 

Leeds Health and Wellbeing Board

 

According to the World Health Organisation, antibiotic resistance is one of the biggest threats to global health. A growing number of infections, such as pneumonia, tuberculosis, gonorrhoea and salmonellosis are becoming harder to treat as the antibiotics used to treat them are becoming less effective.

Councillor Rebecca Charlwood, Chair of the Health and Wellbeing Board, said: “It’s important that Leeds residents know the kind of threat that we’re facing if antibiotics stopped working. Infections like pneumonia could potentially no longer be treated because the antibiotics no longer work.

“We all have a part to play, without effective antibiotics, minor infections could become deadly. You don’t need antibiotics for a cough or cold, as this is usually a viral infection and antibiotics are not effective against viral infections. People can self care by getting plenty of rest and if necessary buying remedies over the counter at your local pharmacy.

“In Leeds we have the Seriously Resistant campaign (www.seriouslyresistant.com), where local people can find out why the misuse or overuse of antibiotics is a threat to future healthcare.”

Philomena Corrigan, Chief Executive at NHS Leeds Clinical Commissioning Group, said: “I would urge people of Leeds to take action now, as we’re at risk where many medical advances like surgery and chemotherapy could become compromised because antibiotics may no longer work.

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

“You can make a pledge to help keep antibiotics working by visiting the Seriously website www.seriouslyresistant.com and encourage your family and friends to pledge.”

To prevent and control the spread of antibiotic resistance, individuals can:

  • Only use antibiotics when prescribed by a certified health professional
  • Never demand antibiotics if your health worker says you don’t need them
  • Always follow your health worker’s advice when using antibiotics
  • Never share or use leftover antibiotics
  • Prevent infections by regularly washing hands, preparing food hygienically, avoiding close contact with sick people, practising safer sex, and keeping vaccinations up to date.

ENDS 

Notes to editors

Leeds Health and Wellbeing Board

The Health and Wellbeing Board’s vision is for Leeds to be a healthy and caring city for all ages, where people who are the poorest will improve their health the fastest https://www.leeds.gov.uk/your-council/plans-and-strategies/best-city-for-health-and-wellbeing

Antibiotic resistance

Antibiotics are medicines used to prevent and treat bacterial infections. Antibiotic resistance occurs when bacteria change in response to the use of these medicines.

Bacteria, not humans or animals, become antibiotic-resistant. These bacteria may infect humans and animals, and the infections they cause are harder to treat than those caused by non-resistant bacteria.

Antibiotic resistance leads to higher medical costs, prolonged hospital stays, and increased mortality.

For further information about antibiotic resistance, please visit http://www.who.int/news-room/fact-sheets/detail/antibiotic-resistance

Seriously campaign

The Seriously campaign was launched to raise awareness of antibiotics resistance with members of the public in Leeds, and the campaign is delivered in partnership with the local NHS and Leeds City Council.

As part of the campaign we’ve introduced the seriously resistant website (https://seriouslyresistant.com/), which includes a quiz, encouraging people to make a pledge to help keep antibiotics working, as well as useful information about antibiotics resistance.

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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