European Antibiotic Awareness Day and World Antibiotic Awareness Week

European Antibiotic Awareness Day (EAAD) is held annually on 18 November. It is a European-wide annual event that raises awareness on how to use antibiotics in a responsible way that will help keep them effective for the future.

2015 also marked the first World Antibiotic Awareness Week, further highlighting that tackling antimicrobial resistance (AMR) requires global action.

Pledge to become an Antibiotic Guardian and select a simple action you can take which will protect our antibiotics

Sign up as an Antibiotic Guardian

As part of last year’s EAAD and World Antibiotic Awareness Week, both the public and medical community were asked to become an Antibiotic Guardian by choosing one simple pledge about how they make better use of antibiotics and help save this vital medicine from becoming obsolete.

Make your own pledge here.

Dr Mike Durkin, NHS England Director of Patient Safety, said: “Antimicrobial resistance is a major threat to the delivery of healthcare across the globe and requires us to act now to make sure we behave as responsible stewards of the use of antimicrobial medications so that these incredible elements of medical science can be preserved, not just for our own lifetime but for all future generations. I am extremely proud to support both European Antibiotic Awareness Day and the first World Antibiotic Awareness Week – these campaigns highlight the need for global action, and as one of the largest healthcare providers in the world it is vital the NHS is seen to lead that fight.

“I have made my own personal pledge to the Antibiotic Guardian campaign which is ‘to work to contribute to develop a national action plan for my country on antimicrobial resistance in line with the global plan’.”

Dr Keith Ridge, Chief Pharmaceutical Officer for England, said: “Pharmacy staff are central to the fight against antimicrobial resistance, which is one of the greatest threats currently facing our society. As experts in medicines, I would urge pharmacists with their teams to make this one of their top priorities and to lead the way by signing up as Antibiotic Guardians and taking an active role in the campaign. This can be done by applying the principles of medicines optimisation and challenging prescriptions that do not comply with those principles or with local antibiotic guidelines. By spending time talking to patients pharmacy staff can reinforce the messages about how to best take antibiotics and the importance of preserving them for future generations.”

“I have made my own personal pledge to the Antibiotic Guardian campaign which is ‘I will champion Antibiotic Guardians within my organisation by encouraging at least 10 others to pledge.”

Read the “I need antibiotics that work” series of blogs

Throughout World Antibiotic Awareness Week 2015 we posted a series of short blogs where clinicians and policy leaders shared what they are doing to change their practice to improve antimicrobial stewardship:

  • Read the Monday 16 November blog from Dr Bruce Warner, Chief Pharmaceutical Officer, and Elizabeth Beech, NHS England Healthcare Associated Infection and Antimicrobial Resistance Lead.
  • Read the Tuesday 17 November blog from Dr Matthew Fogarty, NHS England Head of Patient Safety Policy and Strategy, and Stuart Brown, an antimicrobial pharmacist and NHS England Healthcare Acquired Infection and Antimicrobial Resistance Lead.
  • Read the Wednesday 18 November blog from Dr Mike Durkin, NHS England Director of Patient Safety.
  • Read the Thursday 19 November blog from Sally Kingsland, NHS England (London) Clinical Quality Manager and Infection Prevention and Control Lead Nurse, and Lauren Mosley, NHS England Patient Safety Systems and Liaison Manager.
  • Read the Friday 20 November blog from Dr Martyn Diaper, NHS England Head of Patient Safety (Primary Care) and Philip Howard, NHS England Healthcare Associated Infection and Antimicrobial Resistance Lead.

Further information on antibiotic awareness