HEALTH MAT­TERS

Macclesfield Express - - MACCLESFIELD PEOPLE -

●● WITH Dr Paul Bowen, a GP with McIlvride Med­i­cal Prac­tice, Poyn­ton, and ex­ec­u­tive chair of NHS Eastern Cheshire Clin­i­cal Com­mis­sion­ing Group (CCG). AN­TIBI­OTICS are used to treat and some­times pre­vent bac­te­rial in­fec­tions.

How­ever, they are of no use in fight­ing many other types of in­fec­tion and can in­crease the risk of an­tibi­otic re­sis­tance when pre­scribed un­nec­es­sar­ily.

That is why the CCG will be mak­ing a pledge in its 2015/16 prospec­tus to re­duce the use of an­tibi­otics, es­pe­cially for less se­ri­ous con­di­tions.

Our stance sup­ports Public Health Eng­land’s an­tibi­otics guardian cam­paign.

An­tibi­otic re­sis­tance can oc­cur in sev­eral ways.

Strains of bac­te­ria can change over time and be­come re­sis­tant to a spe­cific an­tibi­otic.

The chances of mu­ta­tion in­crease if a per­son doesn’t fin­ish a course of an­tibi­otics as some bac­te­ria may be left to de­velop re­sis­tance.

Also, an­tibi­otics can de­stroy many of the harm­less strains of bac­te­ria that live in and on the body.

This al­lows re­sis­tant bac­te­ria to mul­ti­ply quickly and re­place them.

Overuse of an­tibi­otics in re­cent years has played a ma­jor part in an­tibi­otic re­sis­tance.

This in­cludes us­ing an­tibi­otics to treat mi­nor con­di­tions that would have got bet­ter with­out them.

Overuse has led to the emer­gence of su­per­bugs in­clud­ing MRSA, C dif­fi­cile and MDR-TB – the bac­te­ria that causes multi-drug-re­sis­tant tu­ber­cu­lo­sis.

Su­per­bugs can be se­ri­ous and dif­fi­cult to treat, and are be­com­ing an in­creas­ing cause of dis­abil­ity and death around the world.

In fact, the World Health Or­gan­i­sa­tion es­ti­mates that there are about 170,000 deaths a year from MDR-TB.

For­tu­nately, in­fec­tions from MRSA and C dif­fi­cile are be­low the na­tional av­er­age in Macclesfield Dis­trict Gen­eral Hos­pi­tal and other in­pa­tient set­tings in eastern Cheshire – and have been fall­ing for years.

How­ever, there is no room for com­pla­cency and wor­ries re­main world­wide that there may emerge new strains of bac­te­ria that are un­treat­able by ex­ist­ing an­tibi­otics.

That’s why GPs in eastern Cheshire only pre­scribe an­tibi­otics with good rea­son.

Thank­fully our pa­tients sup­port this ap­proach and have known for years that an­tibi­otics are not the an­swer to the com­mon cold, most sore throats and lots of other ail­ments.

●● Dr Paul Bowen

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