A PROJECT designed to improve the way antibiotics are prescribed is underway at the Great Western Hospital.

The hospital’s Trust has been undertaking the project to ensure they are only prescribed when absolutely necessary.

At any one time approximately 30 per cent of inpatients at GWH are prescribed antibiotics for treatment of infections.

However, there is a global concern about how much longer antibiotics will be effective in fighting infection. A World Health Organisation report has highlighted how the overuse of antibiotics and unnecessary prescribing is helping to speed up the process where bacteria can adapt and find a way of becoming resistant to antibiotics and how this represents a serious risk to public health.

Chief Executive Nerissa Vaughan said: “In line with actions being taken across the globe, the Department of Health has set out guidelines for hospitals to carefully manage the use of antibiotics through an Antibiotic Stewardship initiative. The program was launched over the summer designed to ensure that the trust uses antibiotics in an intelligent way.”