Tell your MP you care about antibiotic resistance

Colin Garner ANTRUK announcements, Get involved, Parliament

The elected MP for your area is in place to represent you and to make sure the issues you care about are raised at the highest level possible in Government. Find out how to write a short, persuasive letter and send it to your MP to explain why antibiotic-resistant infections are an issue worthy of their attention.

Find out who your MP is

Use this search tool to find out who the MP for your local area is. Enter your postcode and it will tell you their name, contact details and how to address them. Or, if you know their name, you can send a letter addressed to them via House of Commons, London, SW1A 0AA.

Sending an email is perfectly okay – you do not need to hand write a letter, unless you wish to. If you send an email, link to additional information online. If your MP is moved by your words, it’s a great way to educate them further on the threat posed by antibiotic-resistant infections.

What to write to your MP about antibiotic-resistant infections

Many organisations provide a template for such letters. MPs often say that getting the same message repeatedly is not an effective way to capture their attention. Instead, here is our advice on what you can say when you write to your MP. We break it down into sections to really help get the message across.

MPs receive lots of messages from their constituents, so keep it short (approximately one page) and to the point. Do write with passion and emotion; personal stories are a powerful way to explain why this issue is so important.

What to include in your letter to your MP about antibiotic resistance:
  • Your address, as the MP needs to be sure you in their constituency.
  • Start the letter with ‘Dear’ and their correct title and name (as found here).
  • Introduce yourself as a constituent, and tell them that you are writing to them about a matter that is of increasing concern to you.
  • Introduce the topic of antibiotic-resistant infections, using some of the suggested wording in the next section (‘introducing antibiotic-resistant infections’) if you wish. If they have already taken action on this or a related matter, let them know that you appreciate this. If writing by email, link them to one of our webpages for more information; for example, the page about common bacterial infections, or the one about sepsis.
  • Include personal stories, as they are a powerful addition. Tell them why you care so much and how it affects you and/or your loved ones.
  • Tell them what you would like them to do. You can see our suggestions for action in the ‘Suggesting solutions’ section, below.
  • Let them know that you need a response from them with what actions they intend to take. Remember to include your address on physical letters, so that they can reply.

If you have requested a response and have not heard from them after two weeks, call their office to check that they received the letter. Your own individual letter may not change anything, but together we can ensure our voices are heard.

Introducing antibiotic-resistant infections

It can be tricky to explain this issue to someone via a letter, as you don’t know how much they already understand. Here are a few different ways to choose from.

  • “Antibiotics are used during all kinds of medical procedure, including dentistry, childbirth, surgery, cancer treatment and more. They stop simple infections from becoming serious – or even fatal. As these drugs have been over-used and misused, bacteria are increasingly able to survive treatment with all but a handful of antibiotics. The World Health Organisation has predicted that 10 million people will die from antibiotic-resistant infections every single year by 2050.”

OR

  • “Antibiotic-resistant infections can affect most parts of the body and are often extremely painful, debilitating and sadly, can lead to sepsis, permanent disablement and death. More than 30 people die every day in the UK due to a bacterial infection that cannot be treated with antibiotics. The World Health Organisation predicts 10 million people will die every single year from these infections by 2050.”

OR

  • “Antibiotics are thought to have helped to extend our life expectancy by 20 years. All this could be lost if antibiotics stop working and resistance builds up.”

Suggesting solutions

Here are a few suggestions of actions that your MP could take;

  1. Ask your MP if they will support the proposal from Julian Sturdy, MP for York Outer for a Minister to be given over-arching responsibility of antimicrobial resistance across all Government departments.
  2. Suggest that they support the proposal made by Antibiotic Research UK to create a national AMR Research Fund.
  3. See if your MP is willing to request the Government to support Antibiotic Research UK’s Patient Support Service.
  4. Ask your MP to request that ‘antibiotic-resistant infection’ is written on death certificates when it is the cause of death.
  5. Suggest that they request the UK Government to create a national serious infection and antibiotic resistance registry.
  6. Ask the MP if they will request increased funding for AMR research in the UK’s universities.
Thank you for your support

If you do write to your MP to raise their awareness of antibiotic resistance, you have our gratitude. There are lots of other ways you can help spread the word about resistant bacteria. Take a look at our support us page for more inspiration.