DR Graham Duce, GP at Park Green Surgery, Macclesfield, and NHS Eastern Cheshire Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) clinical lead for antibiotic stewardship IT’S currently World Antibiotic Awareness Week, a time when we can all come together to think about antibiotic resistance – one of the biggest threats facing global health.
Quite simply, the over-use of some antibiotics means that bacteria no longer respond to them.
Without effective antibiotics, many routine treatments such as setting broken bones, basic operations and even chemotherapy, will become increasingly dangerous in the not-toodistant future.
Antibiotic resistance can also lead to serious bacterial infections such as MRSA and post antibiotic complications like Clostridium difficile (C. diff ).
And while antibiotic resistance is a global issue, it is also very much a local one, as the number of patients displaying signs of antibioticresistant infections is posing an increasing problem for myself and clinical colleagues.
Fortunately, we have a strong antibiotics policy across the Eastern Cheshire health economy, which ensures C. difficile isn’t able to gain a foothold – but patients can also do their bit to combat this worrying trend.
Antibiotics won’t cure a cough, cold or most sore throats, so please don’t pressure your GP to prescribe you antibiotics for viral conditions.
Please also don’t stockpile antibiotics and use them ‘as and when you need them’, as it’s very important that antibiotics are only used when prescribed and, if you are prescribed them, that you complete the entire course of treatment.
Furthermore, you can visit antibioticguardian. com and choose one simple pledge about how you’ll make better use of antibiotics and help save these vital medicines from becoming obsolete.
I myself have pledged to champion the Antibiotic Guardian campaign within my organisation by encouraging at least 10 others to pledge.
Last year I and many other local figures – including Macclesfield Town FC manager John Askey – were featured in a video explaining why antibiotic resistance is such a serious problem for all of us.
If you’d like to know more about antibiotic resistance, watch the video at https://youtu.be/ gMQJpjii9zo.