October 12, 2016
WIHSC Director Professor Marcus Longley, accompanied by one of the jurors, has this morning presented the verdict of the Citizens’ Jury to the All Wales Medicines Strategy Group. The Group will now advise the Welsh Government on the action to be taken.
The jurors were very concerned about the serious and real threat of developing antimicrobial resistance, and focused their discussions over 4 days in July on what the public can do to help. They have produced 10 recommendations, which call amongst other things for a radically new approach to engaging the public – a break from old fashioned 'health education’ to a more sophisticated and coordinated attempt to change people’s behaviour through 'social marketing’.
They also focused on how the initial contact with the health service for people with infections can be improved, so that people get timely help without automatic recourse to antibiotics when they are not needed.
Jurors were also concerned about how easy it can be for people to get antibiotics over the internet without appropriate checks and advice, and recommended that the rules should now be changed.
12 expert witnesses presented evidenced to the jury of 14 men and women, selected from across Wales.
The jury’s report contains many quotations from jurors that they recorded in their diaries during the proceedings. For example:
'I found it surprising to hear just how common inappropriate prescribing can be’
'Hugely encouraged by the social marketing possibilities – the key is to change behaviour not just raise awareness. REAL hope of having an impact on the problem now’