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Staffordshire and Stoke-on-Trent Celebrate World Anti-Microbial Awareness Week

This week is World Antimicrobial Awareness Week, and people in Staffordshire and Stoke-on-Trent are being encouraged to take part in an antibiotic amnesty to keep antibiotics working.

Healthcare leaders are urging everyone to return any leftover antibiotics that they may have to their local pharmacy, so they can be disposed of safely.

Antibiotics are life-saving medicines. They are used to treat serious infections and are vital to routine modern procedures, such as knee replacements, caesarean-sections and transplants.

Antibiotic resistance occurs when bacteria are able to survive treatment with antibiotics, because they are no longer affected by the antibiotics that we use to treat the infection. This means that it is becoming more difficult to treat infections and, if this continues, could result in a situation where common operations would be too risky to carry out.

When antibiotics are disposed of in household waste, or down sinks, drain and toilets, it results in more antibiotics going into our environment. This is dangerous, as it can increase levels of antibiotic resistance, again meaning that our antibiotics may not be effective against harmful bacteria in the future.

Dr Paddy Hannigan, Clinical Director for Primary Care at Staffordshire and Stoke-on-Trent Integrated Care Board, and a local GP, comments: “Antibiotics are essential medications in modern medicine. They have helped to save millions of lives since they were created, and we must try to maintain their effectiveness to treat many more in our community.

“When prescribed antibiotics, please take them as advised by your GP or pharmacist. Doing so will help prevent the risk of anti-microbial resistance within yourself and can help to protect others around you.”

“If you have finished your course of antibiotics and have some leftovers, please return them to your pharmacy for safe disposal. These small steps make a big difference in keeping everyone safe and protecting the future of anti-microbial medication.”

This November, we need your help to support World Antimicrobial Awareness Week in the Midlands. To do so, we all need to follow simple steps in maintaining antibiotics for the future:

  • If you are prescribed antibiotics, please take them as prescribed and directed by your GP, pharmacist or nurse

  • If you have any unused leftover antibiotics at home, take them to your local pharmacy for safe disposal

It is important to note that antibiotics do not treat or prevent colds, flu or COVID-19. Therefore, always double-check with your pharmacist or GP on the best medication to help you treat your sickness.

Let’s work together to keep everyone in Staffordshire and Stoke-on-Trent safe.

To find out more about antibiotics and their resistance against superbugs, visit the NHS webpage. To learn more about World Antimicrobial Awareness Week, visit the World Health Organisation website.


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