Antibiotics aren’t always good for you – so think twice about asking for them.

That’s the message from GPs in Dartford, Gravesham and Swanley who are supporting the Keep Antibiotics Working campaign which urges the public to always trust their doctor, nurse or pharmacist’s advice as to when they need antibiotics. The campaign also provides effective self-care advice to help individuals and their families feel better if they are not prescribed antibiotics.

Dr Sarah MacDermott, local GP and NHS Dartford, Gravesham, and Swanley Clinical Commissioning Group Chair said: “Taking antibiotics when they are not needed puts you at risk of a more severe or longer infection, and you should always take your doctor’s advice on antibiotics.

“Antibiotics are essential to treat serious bacterial infections, such as meningitis, pneumonia and sepsis, but they are frequently being used to treat illnesses, such as coughs, earache and sore throats that can get better by themselves.

“Taking antibiotics when you don’t need them will mean your body is more resistant to them so they may not work when you really need them.”

It is estimated that at least 5,000 deaths are caused every year in England because antibiotics no longer work for some people with infections.

Dr MacDermott, who works at Meopham Medical Centre, said: “If antibiotics are not effective minor infections could become deadly. Reducing inappropriate use of antibiotics can help us stay ahead of bugs this winter. The local community has a critical role to play and remember that antibiotics are not always needed so always take your doctor’s advice.

“Help keep this precious resource in the fight against infections working, and play your part. Remember to always take your doctor, nurse or pharmacist’s advice on antibiotics.”

For further information about antibiotics, their uses and the risk of resistance, search ‘NHS Antibiotics’ online, or visit the NHS website.

Download the campaign leaflet

For further information, please contact the CCG’s Communications Team at