Hartlepool pharmacy staff raise awareness over antibiotic resistance

Becky Alexander speaking to a staff member at an information stand
Becky Alexander speaking to a staff member at an information stand

Pharmacy staff at North Tees and Hartlepool NHS Foundation Trust have been raising awareness about the dangers of antibiotic resistance.

To mark World Antibiotic Awareness Week, the trust highlighted the need for people to use antibiotics responsibly.

Antimicrobial pharmacist Becky Alexander and her colleagues spoke to staff, patients and the public. Part of her role is to make sure antibiotics are being prescribed correctly on the wards.

She said: “Antibiotics are a precious resource and should be preserved. They should be used to treat bacterial infections, only when prescribed by a certified health professional.

“Antibiotics should never be shared and the full course of treatment should be completed – not saved for the future. The body can be left susceptible to infections if they are prescribed unnecessarily because bugs can become resistant.

“Many common illnesses such as a cold or the flu can be treated by medicine you can get over the counter.”

The spread of resistant bacteria is a major issue for patient safety.

Infections with antibiotic-resistant bacteria increase levels of disease and death, as well as the length of time people stay in hospitals.

Inappropriate use of antibiotics may increasingly cause patients to become colonised or infected with resistant bacteria.

Few new antibiotics are being developed.