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Wolverhampton City Antimicrobial Stewardship Programme and the Wolverhampton Together Campaign to Protect Our Antibiotics

The Royal Wolverhampton NHS Trust (RWT), Wolverhampton CCG, the City of Wolverhampton Council (Public Health) and NHS England have joined forces in a bid to increase local awareness of antibiotic resistance and to encourage best practices among the general public, health workers and policy makers in the city.

The Wolverhampton–wide group is called the Antimicrobial Stewardship Programme (ASP) and they want the public and prescribers to recognise that 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 Programme includes various projects to support prescribers, including initiatives to help doctors, nurse prescribers and dentists make better prescribing decisions, whilst also supporting pharmacists who have an important role in helping the public choose appropriate over the counter medicines. In addition, it aims to raise students’ and school children’s awareness about antibiotic resistance, working with Wolverhampton University and local schools.

Furthermore, the Programme recognises and values the contribution businesses can make to the campaign and invites local businesses to become a business partners in the Programme and specifically the awareness campaign to tackle this global challenge. Therefore, the Programme seeks partners who will promote and champion the AMR message: to help us increase the number of registered antibiotic guardians in Wolverhampton, offering an opportunity for businesses to be part of something globally important and locally relevant.

A Programme Board has been set up including all the partner organisations and Health Watch. David Loughton, Chief Executive of RWT, is chairing the Board alongside his colleagues Ros Jervis, Director Public Health and Trisha Curran, Interim Accountable Officer, Wolverhampton CCG.

The scope of the Antimicrobial Stewardship Programme includes all human health care and focuses on shifting the behaviours of the public, patients, prescribers and staff. They are also taking this opportunity to try to explore and influence non-medical use of antimicrobials in animals and more specifically food production as antimicrobial drugs are currently used to promote growth and productivity.

Mr Loughton said “This is a really, really important issue because the ticking time bomb of antimicrobial resistance will affect all of us. Changing behaviours towards antibiotics will be difficult and will take time because we need to educate a lot of people but, by working together across Wolverhampton, we can make a real difference locally. We would ask people from all over the city to join us and pledge to become an antibiotic guardian.”

The Wolverhampton Together – Protecting our Antibiotics Campaign aims to increase the number of Wolverhampton residents (WV postcode) signed up as Antibiotic Guardians. This is being achieved through a public facing campaign supported by the Express and Star newspaper and a campaign to encourage local businesses to become Programme partners to help get the message out.

Anyone can become an antibiotic guardian and can find out more at: http://antibioticguardian.com

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