Clean up our hospitals now

IN the wake of the tragic death of MRSA victim Luke Day, the East Anglian Daily Times today says enough is enough – it's time to crack down on cleanliness in hospitals and stamp out the killer bug.

IN the wake of the tragic death of MRSA victim Luke Day, the East Anglian Daily Times today says enough is enough - it's time to crack down on cleanliness in hospitals and stamp out the killer bug.

Backed by Luke's family, the EADT is calling for your support to put pressure on the Government and the region's NHS Trusts to commit to five key pledges. They are:-

n To reduce the number of MRSA cases in our hospitals,

n To increase the number of cleaning staff in hospitals,


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n To swab test people for MRSA before they are admitted to hospital,

n To enforce compulsory hand washing upon entering and leaving wards for both staff and visitors,

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n To enforce higher general levels of cleanliness throughout our hospitals.

Baby Luke became the youngest-ever victim of the bug when, aged just 36-hours, he died of MRSA-related Septicemia in Ipswich Hospital on February 3.

The EADT exclusively revealed on Tuesday how Luke's parents, Kevin Fenton, 24, and Glynis Day, 17, of Woodbridge, had to fight to get MRSA recognised as the cause of his death.

The family came forward to let the public know of the dangers of MRSA and to tell their tragic tale in the hope it would change things for the better.

And last night they backed our campaign, which seeks to stamp out MRSA in our region's hospitals once and for all.

Julie Fenton, Luke's paternal grandmother, said: "We definitely support the East Anglian Daily Times campaign - the more voice we have, the better. I would agree with all of these pledges.

"We want to get something done and the bottom line is that we don't want this to happen again. I think they'll come back with costs as the reason for not doing this.

"But, at the end of the day, the cost in our case was Luke's life. There are more important things than money."

Mrs Fenton added: "There were some concerns that we had about cleanliness in Ipswich Hospital - it wasn't very nice and not at all what you would expect.

"It's something that needs changing. I also think they should bring back the old matrons - you had one person in charge of their ward and there was trouble if anything went wrong or cleanliness wasn't up to scratch.

"It really has come to the fore with Luke's case. Everybody's frightened about it now and everyone wants to see something positive being done and not just promises."

And Kathy Day, Luke's maternal grandmother, said: "All of the issues that the EADT is bringing up are very important.

"We're obviously very happy to back the campaign. It's a brilliant idea and I'm sure you're going to get a lot of support for it."

Last night, Michael Summers, chairman of the Patients Association, a charity which represents patients rights, also spoke of his hope that Luke's death would see things change.

He said: "The Patients Association wish to express our sympathy with the family over this tragic affair.

"We hope that this may lead to a proper audit of infant MRSA deaths being undertaken so that the Department of Health can establish whether the measures currently being taken are successful or not.

"In past years, MRSA was almost unheard of in maternity wards. Now there are several such incidents."

The Patients Association is set to hold a national conference covering the MRSA issue in London on April 14-15.

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