England: new antibiotics awareness campaign

10 January 2018

A major new campaign to ‘Keep Antibiotics Working’ has been launched by Public Health England in the face of the antibiotic resistance crisis.

Antibiotics in packets

Doctors warn that taking antibiotics when they are not needed puts people at risk of more severe or longer infections. As antibiotic resistance grows, the options for treatment decrease.

At least 5000 deaths a year in England are caused by antibiotics that no longer work against some infections, and experts predict that in just over 30 years, antibiotic resistance will kill more people than cancer and diabetes combined.

The campaign urges the public to always trust the advice of their doctors, nurses or pharmacists as to when they need antibiotics, to take them as directed if they are prescribed, and to never save them for later use or share them with others.

The campaign also provides self-care advice to help individuals and their families feel better if they are not prescribed antibiotics.

Professor Dame Sally Davies, chief medical officer, said: ‘Reducing inappropriate use of antibiotics can help us stay ahead of superbugs. The public has a critical role to play and can help by taking collective action.’

Read more about the campaign at

Picture credit | iStock