Keep antibiotics working

People in Blackpool, Fylde and Wyre have been urged to think carefully before going to their doctor, nurse or healthcare professional for antibiotics.

The ‘Keep Antibiotics Working’ campaign returns to alert people to the risks of over-using antibiotics. Antibiotics are essential to treat serious bacterial infections, but they are frequently being used to treat illnesses such as coughs, earache and sore throats that can get better by themselves.

Taking antibiotics encourages harmful bacteria that live inside you to become resistant. That means that antibiotics may not work when you really need them.

Dr Ben Butler-Reid, Blackpool GP and clinical director for the Fylde Coast CCGs said: “Bacteria becoming resistant to antibiotics has very serious consequences. Currently19% of people over 65 in Blackpool and 26% in Fylde and Wyre have had an infection that has shown resistant to antibiotics, it is something we all need to be aware of and work to reduce.

Antibiotic resistance has been linked to deprivation and frailty, which we already know are issues on the Fylde Coast.”

Antibiotics are a vital tool used to manage infections. Without antibiotics, infections related to surgery could double, putting people at risk of dangerous complications. Cancer patients are also much more vulnerable if antibiotics don’t work; both cancer and the treatment (chemotherapy) reduce the ability of the immune system to fight infections. Antibiotics are critical to both prevent and treat infections in these patients.

The ‘Keep Antibiotics Working’ campaign educates the public about the risks of antibiotic resistance urging people to always take healthcare professional’s advice as to when they need antibiotics. The campaign also provides effective self-care advice to help individuals and their families feel better if they are not prescribed antibiotics.