Newcastle Hospitals promote responsible antibiotic use to coincide with ‘World Antibiotic Awareness Week’

Newcastle Hospitals' antimicrobial team are raising awareness of responsible antibiotic use and the role everyone has in preventing antibiotic resistance during November to coincide with World Antibiotic Awareness Week (13 – 19 November).

The antimicrobial team have designed banners which will be displayed at different sites across the Trust to highlight some of the issues surrounding antibiotic use and why overuse of antibiotics is leading to their resistance.

 Antibiotic awareness banner - Freeman Hospital

Outlined on the banners are causes of antimicrobial resistance and what both staff and members of the public can do to help prevent the overuse of antibiotics – one of the biggest threats to global health.

Dr Lucia Pareja-Cebrian, director of infection prevention and control, said: “We are facing an unprecedented level of threat to the future of our health coming from antibiotic resistance. Antibiotics are precious weapons that help us combat infections and resistance is spreading worldwide, but we can all help to prevent antibiotic resistance.

“From prescribers to users, everyone has a role to play. Preventing infection can reduce the use of antibiotics, limiting antibiotic resistance. You can reduce the risk of infection by washing your hands properly; making sure food is prepared hygienically and keeping your vaccinations up to date.

“Whilst these are good measures to take, patients should also only take antibiotics if directed by healthcare professionals. Antibiotics are not always the answer; they don’t cure viruses like colds and the flu, so only take antibiotics when advised by a healthcare professional if they say that you need them.

“We must join our efforts to fight resistance.”

During November, the Trust will also be sharing a fact each week about the use of antibiotics.

The antimicrobial team includes a lead microbiologist, antimicrobial pharmacist and other professionals who work collaboratively to promote careful antimicrobial use.

To find out more about world antibiotic awareness week, please visit: http://www.who.int/campaigns/world-antibiotic-awareness-week/en/

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