Imperial College Healthcare NHS Trust holds antibiotic amnesty

An amnesty for people to surrender their unused or out of date antibiotics and help combat antibiotic resistance is being held by Imperial College Healthcare NHS Trust from the 16 November to 4 December.

The antibiotic amnesty is being run as part of World Antibiotic Awareness Week which encourages medics and the general public to think about their use of antibiotics to help prevent resistance.

Antibiotics are important medicines for treating bacterial infections but the more they are used the more bacteria are able to adapt and find new ways to survive the effects of the medication. This leads to a build-up in resistance and means antibiotics can no longer be used to treat infections.

Mark Gilchrist, Consultant Pharmacist at Imperial College Healthcare NHS Trust said:

“Antibiotics are a precious resource, the effectiveness of which are at risk from increasing resistance by bacteria, creating one of the most significant threats to patient safety in Europe.


“We can all help to reduce antibiotic resistance by only taking antibiotics when they are prescribed. Antibiotics should never be saved for later or shared with others and it’s important to remember that they cannot treat common illnesses such as colds or sore throats.


"By handing in unused or out of date antibiotics we can help stop their inappropriate use and slow down the development of antibiotic resistance.”

People can hand in their unused or out of date antibiotics at any of the Trust’s Lloyds outpatient pharmacies based at St Mary’s Hospital in Paddington, Charing Cross Hospital in Hammersmith and Hammersmith Hospital in Acton from Monday 16 November until Friday 4 December.

The amnesty is being run in conjunction with The National Institute for Health Research (NIHR) Health Protection Research Unit in Healthcare Associated Infections and Antimicrobial Resistance at Imperial College London.

Notes to editors

  • World Antibiotic Awareness Week is a global initiative supported by the World Health Organization. It aims to increase awareness of global antibiotic resistance and to encourage best practices among the general public, health workers and policy makers to avoid the further emergence and spread of antibiotic resistance
  • Imperial College Healthcare NHS Trust provides acute and specialist health care for around a million people annually. We have five hospitals as well as community services across northwest London. With Imperial College London, we are a designated academic health science centre, improving care through rapid translation of research and excellence in education
  • Imperial College London is one of the world's leading universities. The College's 14,000 students and 7,500 staff are expanding the frontiers of knowledge in science, medicine, engineering and business, and translating their discoveries into benefits for society. Founded in 1907, Imperial builds on a distinguished past - having pioneered penicillin, holography and fibre optics - to shape the future. Imperial researchers work across disciplines to improve global health, tackle climate change, develop sustainable energy technology and address security challenges. This blend of academic excellence and its real-world application feeds into Imperial's exceptional learning environment, where students participate in research to push the limits of their degrees. Imperial nurtures a dynamic enterprise culture, where collaborations with industrial, healthcare and international partners are the norm. In 2007, Imperial College London and Imperial College Healthcare NHS Trust formed the UK's first Academic Health Science Centre. This unique partnership aims to improve the quality of life of patients and populations by taking new discoveries and translating them into new therapies as quickly as possible. Imperial has nine London campuses, including its White City Campus: a 25 acre research and innovation centre in west London. At White City, researchers, businesses and higher education partners are co-locating to create value from ideas on a global scale.

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