Wednesday 18th November is European Antibiotics Awareness Day.
Antibiotics are some of our most precious medicines and since the 1940s they have allowed us to fight infections and save millions of lives. Antibiotics treat infections by killing bacteria, but now the bacteria are fighting back. Our medicines are becoming less effective which means more deaths and more complications for people receiving treatment in hospital. There are many reasons why antibiotics lose their effectiveness, but two key ones are:
Firstly, we take medicines that we don’t need. Antibiotics don’t help most colds or coughs get better but we still request antibiotics for them.
Secondly, we make things worse when we don’t take antibiotics exactly as prescribed, for instance, missing doses. Never save antibiotics for future use
or give them to someone else.
Antibiotic resistance is one of the biggest threats facing us today but you can help.
Know Who To Turn To
If you are not sure who you need to speak to for the right medical assistance when you're ill, injured or have a long term medical condition, please refer to our 'Know Who To Turn To' section for advice.
A Self Help Health Guide for Shetland residents is also available.
All routine health matters, including repeat prescriptions must be dealt with by your own GP practice.
For medical emergencies please call 999.
To contact NHS24 call 111.
Other health advice is available from NHS Inform
Living a healthy lifestyle not only helps to keep you fit, but it also reduces your risk of heart attacks, stroke, diabetes and other conditions. A healthy lifestyle can help keep your immune system better tuned, reducing the risk of infections and diseases.
Please visit Health Improvement's 'Health Shetland' website for a wealth of resources on how you can improve your health and the support that is open to you, e.g. through the smoking cessation service.
Your rights as a patient
As a heath Board we are responsible for looking after your health and will do whatever we can to make sure you are given the best treatment possible. Sometimes you may feel you need more information to be able to make an informed decision. There are a number of resources on this site which may be helpful to you in this regard:
- Accessing your health records
- Making a Freedom of Information request
- Leaving feedback or making a complaint
You can also visit the NHS Inform website for a range of up to date materials regarding, for example, providing your consent, your right to confidentiality and what you can expect from the NHS. The materials at this site are available in alternative languages and formats.
Please help us to become better at how we care for you and how we plan our services. We want you to contribute and participate so NHS Shetland works better for everyone.
To understand how you can be involved, please see our Getting Involved section. This provides information about our Patient Focus Public Involvement work and our Public Partnership Forum. It also provides information about volunteering for us, and how to leave feedback through our comments and suggestions and complaints mechanisms.