European antibiotics awareness day (EAAD) is an annual Europe-wide initiative that takes place each year on 18 November. It aims to raise awareness about the scarce resource of antibiotics and the importance of conserving them.

Antibiotic resistance has been labelled a major threat to the future of healthcare and the impact of antibiotic resistance has been compared to climate change in terms of its impact on human health. Healthcare without effective antibiotics is barely conceivable to those who have enjoyed the benefits of modern medicine. A world where infections are untreatable; surgery and immunosuppression impossible, is a frightening prospect. Yet antibiotic use is continuing to rise.

This year, Public Health England launched a campaign to get at least 10,000 people (patients, public and healthcare workers) to commit to at least one pledge for prudent use of antibiotics and become an antibiotic guardian. More than 3,500 people have already signed up.

Sign up to take the pledge today.

Today, antimicrobial stewardship teams are promoting EAAD at events across our hospitals. They will promote EAAD materials and antibiotic stewardship on ward rounds at Barnet Hospital and Chase Farm Hospital. At the Royal Free Hospital the team are wearing t-shirts showing the antibiotic guardian logo to help engage with and spread the message among clinical staff.

Throughout the day, we will be sharing messages about EAAD on our Twitter channel using the hashtag #AntibioticGuardian. Follow @RoyalFreeNHS to find out more.