NHS organisations in Kirklees are encouraging local people to join them in tackling antibiotic resistance by following the advice of their doctor, nurse or pharmacist.

NHS Greater Huddersfield and NHS North Kirklees CCGs are supporting the national campaign from Public Health England – “Keep Antibiotics Working”.  The campaign warns that taking antibiotics when you don’t need them puts you and your family at risk.

Dr David Kelly, local GP and Chair of NHS North Kirklees Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) said: “Taking antibiotics encourages harmful bacteria that live inside you to become resistant, meaning antibiotics may not work when you really need them. Taking antibiotics for everyday viral infections, such as colds or flu, are not effective. Antibiotics are essential to treat serious bacterial infections such as pneumonia, meningitis and sepsis.”

As antibiotic resistance increases, common procedures such as caesarean sections and hip replacements could become life-threatening without antibiotics to ward off infections. 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 and antibiotics are critical to both prevent and treat infections in these patients.

Dr Steve Ollerton local GP and Chair of NHS Greater Huddersfield CCG said: “To help prevent antibiotic resistance, antibiotics should only be taken as prescribed and never saved for later, or shared with others.  It’s important that, when it comes to antibiotics, you always take your doctor, nurse or pharmacist’s advice.”

Community pharmacies are a good place to start for advice and treatment for minor health conditions such as coughs, colds and aches and pains and you don’t need an appointment to speak to the pharmacist.

For further information on antibiotic resistance visit www.nhs.uk/antibiotics