Optical Confederation backs World Antibiotics Awareness Week

16 November 2015
Source: The Optical Confederation

The Optical Confederation has joined a worldwide call against the danger of unnecessary use of antibiotics.

Optical professionals are being encouraged to pledge that “primary care optometrists are committed to safe prescribing-supporting #AntibioticGuardian.”

The website will then create an attention-grabbing ‘thunderclap’ by simultaneously posting the pledges on the social media accounts of all those who signed up at 11am on Monday 30 November.

The WHO and UK government have recently warned that overuse of antibiotics can lead to drug resistant strains of disease that mean even routine treatments will become increasingly dangerous.

The initiative has been launched to coincide with European Antibiotic Awareness Day on 18 November 2015, and this year also sees the first ever UN World Antibiotic Awareness Week from 16-22 November.

All UK optometrists have access to some therapeutics to enable them to manage minor eye conditions whilst Independent Prescriber (IP) optometrists can prescribe any licensed medicine, except for controlled drugs or injected medicines, to treat the eye and surrounding tissues (within their recognised area of expertise and competence).

Chair of the Optical Confederation, Chris Hunt said: “As optical professionals we will continue to play our part promoting safe antibiotic prescribing.

“All optometrists can prescribe certain antibiotics, and a growing number have achieved Independent Prescriber status to offer a higher level of additional support to private and some NHS patients.

“There is a growing role for such work as local eye health providers increasingly support hospital and GP colleagues by delivering enhanced NHS services within the community.

“The #AntibioticGuardian initiative not only protects future generations of patients but also highlights the growing role IP optometrists can play in the modern NHS.”

To sign up to the online pledge visit https://www.thunderclap.it/projects/34585-antibiotic-guardian?locale=en

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