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With bacteria becoming more resistant to antibiotics, Wye Valley NHS Trust is backing Public Health England’s campaign to raise awareness of this important issue.
Antibiotics are vital for treating bacterial infections, but they will not affect illnesses caused by viruses – including the common cold and the ‘flu - something many people do not appreciate.
“Many illnesses can be fought off by our body’s own immune system and do not need antibiotics,” said Alison Johnson, Wye Valley NHS Trust’s consultant microbiologist.
“The incorrect prescribing and overuse of antibiotics has caused the issues we face on a global scale with ‘super bugs’ being resistant to the antibiotics we have available,” she added.
“We would encourage members of the public to look after themselves and consider self-care options and seek alternative remedies before looking to a doctor for antibiotics to cure mild infections and illnesses.
“When seeking advice from a doctor there’s the temptation to ask, or sometimes insist, on being prescribed antibiotics when you feel unwell, but it’s imperative that we all take a moment to think and consider whether they are vital for the symptoms and illness diagnosed.
“Bacteria are smart and adapt to become resistant to antibiotics which are now quite rapidly losing their effectiveness to fight infections due to the over-prescription of antibiotics.”
WVT is playing its part by backing Public Health England’s awareness campaign and is encouraging staff to become antibiotic guardians.
These guardians choose one simple pledge about how they will make better use of antibiotics in the future and consistently follow this rule while undertaking their day to day roles in the Trust.
It’s not just medical professionals that Public Health England is calling on to support the campaign - anyone can register as an antibiotic guardian and make a pledge by visiting www.antibioticguardian.com
This week is world antibiotics awareness week and European antibiotic awareness day takes place on Friday, November 18.
Notes to Editors:
Ten reasons to worry about antibiotic resistance, list from Public Health England http://bit.ly/11fB4ck
- Wye Valley NHS Trust is a provider of health services across Herefordshire and beyond. The Trust exists to improve the wellbeing, independence and health of the people we serve.
- By working closely with our partners, we can make good our promise to deliver a quality of care we would want for ourselves, our families and our friends.
- With an estimated annual turnover of around £180 million, we employ around 3,000 staff. We aim to build new relationships between our staff, patients, service users and their carers with the wider community.
For further information please contact:
John Burnett, Communication and Engagement Manager, Wye Valley NHS Trust: 01432 372928 or Amanda Millichip, Communications Officer 01432 355444 ext. 5105.