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Press release – 14 November 2018
Think twice, follow your doctor’s advice and don’t take antibiotics when you don’t need them
Think twice, follow your doctor’s advice and don’t take antibiotics when you don’t need them, is the advice being given to residents by doctors and healthcare professionals across the county.
Antibiotic resistance is a serious global problem and taking antibiotics when you don’t them is putting you and your family at risk. That’s why doctors and healthcare professionals across Herefordshire are supporting the national public health campaign ‘keep antibiotics working’ launched recently.
Dr Paul Harris, Herefordshire Clinical Commissioning Group Prescribing Lead, said:
“We are urging everyone to think twice before asking for antibiotics for themselves or the people they care for when they don’t need them and not to expect antibiotics every time they visit a GP with an infection.
“Antibiotics can’t work for viral infections such as a cold or flu and taking antibiotics when you have a viral infection will strip away your protective bacteria making you more vulnerable to other infections. It also means that antibiotics are less likely to work in the future for you or your family. If you have a minor illness, rest, keep warm, drink plenty of water to avoid dehydration, and visit your local pharmacy instead of your GP for advice on medicines you can take at home.”
Alison Johnson, Wye Valley NHS Trust’s consultant microbiologist, added: “It is predicted that in just over 30 years, antibiotic resistance will kill more people than cancer and diabetes combined and could increase the risk of infection for patients undergoing routine operations like hip replacements.
“Antibiotic resistance affects everyone because it is becoming more difficult to treat some bacterial infections, such as urinary tract infections.
“Taking antibiotics unnecessarily can cause side effects, such as diarrhoea, and puts our own bodies at risk of infection as it kills off the healthy bacteria in the gut which can impact on our overall health. It also means that if you do need antibiotics in the future, they are less likely to work.
“Antibiotics save lives and so we need to keep them working for patients who are seriously ill and have bacterial infections and those attending their GP surgery with bacterial infections. Follow the advice of your doctor, nurse or midwife and use antibiotics wisely”.
Karen Wright, Director of Public Health at Herefordshire Council, agreed with the advice, adding: “Antibiotics only treat certain bacterial infections and are not effective against viral infections like the common cold, flu, most sore throats, bronchitis, and many sinus and ear infections. Your local pharmacy will be able to advise on the best way to ease the symptoms of these conditions”.
Left to right - Alison Johnson, consultant microbiologist at Wye Valley NHS Trust, and
Dr Paul Harris, Herefordshire Clinical Commissioning Group Prescribing Lead
Note to editors:
Wye Valley NHS Trust is a provider health services across Herefordshire and beyond.
The Trust exists to improve the wellbeing, independence and health of the people we serve. We are the leading provider of health care in Herefordshire.
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 2,700 plus 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:
Wye valley NHS Trust communications team 01432 372928 or 01432 355444 x5105.