Keep Antibiotics Working

We are working with Public Health England and Sefton Council to keep antibiotics working by only prescribing them when they are needed and reminding people that taking them regularly can lead to them not working at all.

We have spent a number of years reducing inappropriate antibiotic prescriptions in Sefton to ensure that only the patients who really need them are given them.

  • By 2050, deaths attributable to antimicrobial resistance (AMR) could be as high as 10 million a year.
  • Experts predict that in just over 30 years antibiotic resistance will kill more people worldwide than cancer and diabetes combined
  • Despite the risks of antibiotic resistance, research shows that 38% of people still expect an antibiotic from a doctor’s surgery, NHS walk-in centre or ‘GP out of hours’ service when they visited with a cough, flu or a throat, ear, sinus or chest infection in 2017
  • The UK Government has pledged £31m for the development of new drugs and diagnostics and has specifically committed to reducing inappropriate prescribing in the UK by half by 2020

Antibiotic resistant infections are caused by the unnecessary and inappropriate use of antibiotics, such as not taking them as prescribed or saving them for later use.

Antibiotics are needed for serious bacterial infections but don’t work for everyday viral infections such as cold and flu – pharmacists can provide advice on treating these illnesses. If you take antibiotics when you don’t need them, the dangerous bacteria inside you can become resistant to antibiotics. This means they are less likely to work for you when you really need them, such as for serious infections like pneumonia, urinary tract infections and meningococcal meningitis. You can also pass on antibiotic resistant bacteria to your loved ones.

To make a pledge and become an antibiotic guardian, visit the Public Health England website:

For more information visit the NHS Choices website.