With the onset of winter, residents of Brent and Harrow are being reminded that antibiotics are not the solution for infections such as coughs, colds and sore throats.

Dr Bharat Patel, Consultant Microbiologist at The North West London Hospitals NHS Trust, says:

"Antibiotics are effective only against bacterial infections. Taking antibiotics for the wrong reasons has no benefit to the patient and can cause nasty side effects such as diarrhoea. Not only that, taking or prescribing antibiotics incorrectly also causes bacteria to become resistant to antibiotics, therefore making them become ineffective in the future. "

The Trust is marking European Antibiotic Awareness Day (Tuesday 18 November) with a week of events and initiatives for staff and the public.

The week aims to remind the public of the fact that antibiotics don't work on most coughs, colds and sore throats, and to raise awareness amongst staff of the need for prescribing antibiotics responsibly.

Dr Patel says:

"The key thing for the public to remember is to always follow your doctor's advice on when and how to use antibiotics, so they can be effective now and also in the future."

Trust staff and the public are encouraged to visit one of the information stands in the main entrances of Northwick Park and Central Middlesex hospitals to find out more.

For more information about European Antibiotics Awareness Day go to http://antibiotic.ecdc.europa.eu/

The North West London Hospitals NHS Trust manages Northwick Park and St Mark's Hospitals in Harrow and Central Middlesex Hospital in Park Royal. We employ 4,200 staff.

North West London Hospitals NHS Trust