Campaign successfully reduces unnecessary use of antibiotics in Staffordshire

In conjunction with World Antibiotics Awareness Week in November, the Clinical Commissioning Groups (CCGs) in Stafford and Stoke-on-Trent promoted a campaign about the appropriate use of antibiotics.

The goal was to ensure that antibiotics are only prescribed in cases that are timely and appropriate.

Rosalind Needham, Medicines Optimisation Lead Pharmacist at the CCGs said: “Over-prescribing antibiotics can lead to ‘superbugs’– resistant strains of bacteria. This could mean antibiotics are less likely to work for you in the future, which might lead to severe complications.

“We fully support this campaign to help the public and local health service workers understand the issues surrounding the overuse of antibiotics. It is also an opportunity to educate people on the alternatives for treating minor infections.”

The CCGs’ Medicines Optimisation team distributed relevant materials to GP surgeries, dentists, pharmacies, libraries and supermarkets around Staffordshire to promote their message to local residents.

They also used a number of tactics to engage with GP practices, including:

  • A workshop for GP reception and administration staff to launch the campaign
  • A competition between GP practices to make the best display of the campaign materials in their waiting rooms
  • An audit of GP practices who were prescribing high numbers of antibiotics - this information was fed back to GPs.

Rosalind added: “In the short time since this campaign was launched, we have already been able to see its benefits and the number of antibiotics being prescribed has decreased across the county.

“We have learnt how effective this approach can be for promoting public health issues like this, and we will continue to promote this campaign in the future.”