University signs up to Antibiotic Guardian campaign

University of Wolverhampton students and staff have signed up to a city-wide campaign to raise awareness of the growing threat of antibiotic resistance.

Public Health England (PHE) leads the co-ordination of Antibiotic Awareness activities in England in collaboration with the Veterinary Medicines Directorate (VMD) of the Department of Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (DEFRA) and the Department of Health.

In Wolverhampton, The Royal Wolverhampton NHS Trust, Public Health Wolverhampton, NHS England and the local Clinical Commissioning Group have created a ‘Wolverhampton Together’ campaign which aims to raise awareness across the city and region.

One of the ways of doing this is by signing up to The Antibiotic Guardian campaign, introduced to help protect antibiotics and improve knowledge about antibiotic resistance.  As Antibiotic Guardians, University students and staff will be working closely with colleagues at The Royal Wolverhampton NHS Trust to highlight the growing resistance to antibiotics and promoting conserving their use so that they remain effective.

Pharmacy degree students are also helping to develop educational resources for use in schools.

Steph Harris, Director of Human Resources at the University of Wolverhampton, said: “This important campaign fits in very well with our Health & Wellbeing Charter and we are committed to raising awareness of antibiotic resistance amongst our staff and student communities.

“Pharmacy students, in particular, are getting involved as part of their degree course work as it’s crucial that they are understand the possible effects of the growing resistance to antibiotics. Working directly with the Royal Wolverhampton NHS Trust is giving them a real insight into the challenges facing Public Health England in the future.”

Elysia Newton, third year Pharmacy student, said:  “As part of our course we can volunteer to visit hospitals and wards and we’ve been giving out Antibiotic Guardian leaflets to staff to raise awareness of the campaign.  Antibiotics resistance will obviously have an impact on how we treat disease and illness in the future and it’s very important that we all get on board to take some responsibility for highlighting the dangers of overuse of these drugs to treat common ailments.”

Angela Hopper, Antimicrobial Stewardship Programme Manager at The Royal Wolverhampton NHS Trust, said: “We’re absolutely delighted that the University has partnered with us by joining the Wolverhampton Together Campaign to protect our antibiotics.

“Antimicrobial Resistance (AMR) is a global ticking time bomb which truly risks the future of human kind. Lots of diseases are caused by bugs (bacteria) that are becoming resistant to the antibiotics we currently take for granted. In fact people are already dying around the world and here in the UK because of multi-resistant bacteria.

“Our aim through this campaign is to make a local stand against these multi-resistant bugs because we know that we are a big part of the problem. We aim to change the way prescribers and the public think about antibiotics and change their behaviours in order to preserve and protect this precious resource.”

Picture Caption from left to right: Tesha Gunputh, third year Pharmacy student, Issic Romel (Students’ Union at the University of Wolverhampton), Ranjit Khutan (Head of Public Health at the University of Wolverhampton) third year Pharmacy students Elysia Newton, Syed Shah, Melissa Cartwright, Josh Vick and Steph Harris (Director of Human Resources at the University of Wolverhampton).

ENDS

For more information please contact the Media Relations Office on 01902 32 2736 or 01902 518647.

Date Issued: 10th January 2017

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