NHS Sheffield Clinical Commissioning Group

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Keeping antibiotics working for you

Keeping antibiotics working for you
18 November 2019

NHS Sheffield Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) has signed up to be an ‘antibiotic guardian’ and pledged to spread the message about appropriate antibiotic use.

Antibiotics are life-saving medicines. They are used to treat serious bacterial infections such as pneumonia, meningitis and sepsis, a potentially severe bacterial infection in the bloodstream or body tissues.

However, antibiotics are not effective for viral infections such as colds, flu, or most sore throats. In fact, if people take antibiotics when they’re not needed, the next time they get an infection it is more likely that antibiotics will not work, making it harder to treat. This is even more likely for children who have taken antibiotics.

It is estimated that at least 5,000 deaths are caused every year in England because antibiotics no longer work for some infections and this figure is set to rise with experts predicting that in just over 30 years antibiotic resistance could kill more people than cancer and diabetes combined.

Dr Andrew McGinty, Sheffield GP and chair of NHS Sheffield CCG Antimicrobial Stewardship Group, said: “There are simple actions we can all take to fight the threat of antibiotic resistance. To help keep antibiotics working you are urged to always take your doctor or nurse’s advice on antibiotics and don’t take them unless they are prescribed to you.

“If you are suffering from an illness such as a cold, sore throat or flu and are unsure of the best way to treat it, your local pharmacist can help and advise you on steps to take to get better.

“The best way to prevent spreading viral infections to others, and to get better as quickly as possible, is to; wash your hands often with warm water and soap, use tissues to trap germs when you cough or sneeze and bin used tissues as quickly as possible.”

NHS Sheffield CCG continue to achieve a positive reduction in antibiotic prescribing in Sheffield by; providing resources for clinicians about the alternatives for antibiotics, promoting self-care and the appropriate services available, using national campaigns to raise awareness and providing prescribing data to practices to enable them to see patterns and trends in prescribing.

World Antibiotic Awareness Week takes place between 18-24 November, NHS Sheffield CCG is encouraging everyone to spread the message about antibiotic resistance. Individuals and organisations can sign up to be antibiotic guardians here https://antibioticguardian.com/.

NHS Sheffield Clinical Commissioning Group

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