Wanted: Antibiotic Guardians

Friday November 13, 2015

Antibiotic Guardians are being sought by pharmacists at Worthing Hospital and St Richard’s Hospital in Chichester to safeguard the health of future generations.

From Monday 16 to Friday 20 November, in recognition of the first Annual World Antibiotic Awareness Week, members of the public and healthcare professionals will be asked to sign-up and make a simple pledge.

It’s so important to use our existing antibiotics wisely

For example, they could pledge to try and treat symptoms of coughs and colds for five days before visiting their GP, or if prescribed antibiotics ensure they dispose of them at a pharmacy to prevent unused antibiotics unnecessarily entering the environment.

Antibiotic medicines are losing their effectiveness at an increasing rate, as bacteria adapt and find ways to survive the effects of antibiotics by becoming ‘resistant’. The more an antibiotic is used, the more bacteria become resistant to it.

Pharmacist Jo Munns is one of a number of Western Sussex Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust staff who will be manning stands at both hospitals in support of European Antibiotic Awareness Day on November 18 and the first worldwide antibiotic awareness week.

She said: “We hope to sign up as many Antibiotic Guardians as possible, because what is really worrying is that there are very few new antibiotics being developed.

“This is why it’s so important to use our existing antibiotics wisely – that way we can make sure these life-saving medicines will still be effective for ourselves and future generations.”

Although the special awareness events take place over the week, the Trust is active all-year round in promoting the careful use of antibiotics and has developed app-based technology to increase awareness for all staff and other healthcare professionals.

Anyone interested in signing up to be an Antibiotic Guardian can also do so by visiting the website antibioticguardian.com

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