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Inside the Swansea hospital leading the fight against antibiotic resistance

Patients are educated on the danger of antibiotic resistant infections Credit: ITV Wales

A Swansea hospital is leading the fight against antibiotic resistance with a project that educates patients and staff on how the lifesaving drug should be prescribed.

Staff at Morriston Hospital are part of the Antibiotic Review Kit (ARK) Project. The project includes a series of measures to make sure these lifesaving drugs are used sparingly, and only when necessary.

The drugs can treat illnesses caused by bacteria, such as pneumonia or tuberculosis, but do not treat viral infections like colds and flu.

By reducing antibiotic use, it aims to stop serious infections caused by antibiotic resistance in the future.

Patients are giving leaflets explaining how antibiotics are used Credit: ITV Wales

At the hospital, the fight against antibiotic resistance starts with a conversation. Patients are given information on how antibiotics are used, in a bid to create a better understanding.

''Everyone thinks they have to have a course of antibiotics on admission to hospital if they're ill.'' Matron Rachel Morgan said.

''It's trying to change that mindset and say that actually, it's a good thing not to have antibiotics. We're preventing risk of antibiotic resistant infections in the future.''

Antibiotics can be a vital part of treatment, but often they continue to be given to patients when there is no longer a clinical need. That can cause antibiotic resistance and leave people at risk of infections.

Staff at Morriston Hospital are encouraged to use antibiotics only when necessary Credit: PA Images

It is not just patients who are educated, doctors too are encouraged to think differently about using the drug.

''It's taking a slightly different approach to how doctors prescribe antibiotics.'' Dr Phil Coles said.

''Making them understand that you have to be more careful when you start and make sure that you review to stop taking them if they're no long required.''

Robert is a patient suffering from heart problems Credit: ITV Wales

Robert is a patient at the hospital who has suffered from a number of heart problems over the years. He has relied on antibiotics over the years and the rise of resistance to the drugs is a worry.

''I'm very concerned.'' he said.

''I want the best treatment possible. I'm 70 but I hope to reach 90.''

Robert stands a better chance of that if more people understand when antibiotics work.

The message the hospital want to convey is simple - use them sparingly to ensure millions across the world can continue to benefit.