Essex: Call to GPs and patients to join fight against antibiotic resistance

Dr Hasan Chowhan, clinical lead for antibiotics resistance at the North East Essex Clinical Commissi

Dr Hasan Chowhan, clinical lead for antibiotics resistance at the North East Essex Clinical Commissioning Group - Credit: Archant

Patients in north Essex are being asked to join doctors in the fight to keep antibiotics effective.

The North East Essex Clinicial Commissioning Group (NEE CCG) is calling on people and local GPs to join national efforts to stop unnecessary use of antibiotics to prevent diseases from becoming immune to them.

It follows from a comment by prime minister David Cameron who said: “If we fail to act, we are looking at an almost unthinkable scenario where antibiotics no longer work and we are cast back into the dark ages of medicine where treatable infections and injuries will kill once again.”

Dr Hasan Chowhan, clinical lead in this area for the NEE CCG said: “We have known about the growth of resistance for some years, but it is getting rapidly worse.

“This is a major problem facing all of us and our families. The prime minister and the Chief Medical Officer are absolutely right to sound the alarm.

“We know that in too many cases locally doctors prescribe antibiotics for patients when it is very unlikely they will do any good. Coughs, colds and various other usually minor illnesses caused by viruses cannot be cured or even helped by antibiotics. Indeed often antibiotics will cause other problems for the patient.”

As well as calling on doctors not to “play it safe”, Dr Chowhan is also asking patients to listen to their GP and not simply insist on “some pills” or antibiotics.

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Dr Chowhan added: “This is one problem where each and every patient, as well as our doctors, nurses and pharmacists, can make a real contribution.”

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