Doctors in West Norfolk are supporting European Antibiotics Awareness Day tomorrow by running a ‘self-treatment’ campaign.
The GP’s governing body locally, the West Norfolk Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG),is keen to remind people that antibiotics will not help people recover from mild winter illnesses such as colds and sniffles, and may make them resistant to these drugs, which won’t help their health in the long term.
As part of this work, GP practices in West Norfolk will receive a prescription-style pad to give to patients not needing antibiotics.
These “non-prescription” leaflets explain how to treat minor ailments such as drinking plenty of fluids, getting some rest and taking over-the-counter remedies to ease symptoms.
Antibiotic resistance is one of the biggest threats facing medicine today. Without effective antibiotics many routine treatments will become increasingly dangerous.
Dr Paul Williams, CCG governing body member responsible for prescribing and education, said: ““We really should only use antibiotics when absolutely necessary.
“There are a lot of infections that get better quickly without antibiotics such as simple eye/ear/throat infections. Using antibiotics when not necessary can make you more vulnerable to illness in the future.”
“So if your doctor does not prescribe you antibiotics, it means they wouldn’t help make you better. However, it is important to remember that if you are prescribed antibiotics make sure you take them as directed and finish the course so that they work as well as possible, both now and in the future.”
West Norfolk CCG has also pledged to become an Antibiotic Guardian, an initiative developed by Public Health England (PHE), which urges members of the public and healthcare professionals to join in the campaign and take action and help make sure antibiotics work now and in the future.
Next week is national Self Care Week 2015, an annual awareness campaign that aims to raise awareness of how some common ailments do not require antibiotics, and that visiting a pharmacy for advice and treatment is often your best bet. The campaign runs between November 16-22 and this year’s theme is ‘self-care for life’. Self-care is simply about taking care of yourself. It means keeping fit, healthy and active, as well as knowing how to take medicines, treat minor ailments and knowing how and where to seek help when you need it. Being more health conscious and choosing healthy options will have a positive impact on physical health as well as mental wellbeing and self-esteem.