Public Health England (PHE) has launched the Keep antibiotics working campaign, alongside the existing Antibiotic guardian campaign, aimed at preventing the spread of resistance to antibiotics.

It is estimated that at least 5000 deaths annually in England are caused by infections for which antibiotics are no longer effective treatments. Experts predict that mortality due to antibiotic resistant infections could overtake mortality due to cancer and diabetes combined in just over 30 years.

The Keep antibiotics working campaign urges patients to trust their doctor, nurse, or pharmacist’s advice on appropriate use of antibiotics. It also includes self-care advice to encourage patients and their families to manage their illnesses when they have not been prescribed antibiotics.

Nurses and midwives have a prominent role to play in the campaign, as a key aspect of their role is the preventing the spread of infection which can mitigate the need to prescribe antibiotics.

Viv Bennett, Chief Nurse at PHE, said: ‘All nurses and midwives are on the front line in the fight against antimicrobial resistance and so play a key role in managing patient expectations around the prescribing of antibiotics. The Keep antibiotics working campaign supports the profession by educating the public about the dangers of antimicrobial resistance and the risks to their health in taking antibiotics when they are not needed. As antibiotics guardians, nurses and midwives can help combat the growing threat that antimicrobial resistance poses to us all.’

Visit the PHE website for more information.