MRSA family take fight to the top

By Mark HeathTHE family of baby MRSA victim Luke Day have taken their fight to the House of Commons, presenting Government ministers with letters calling for action to combat the killer bug.

By Mark Heath

THE family of baby MRSA victim Luke Day have taken their fight to the House of Commons, presenting Government ministers with letters calling for action to combat the killer bug.

Kevin Fenton and Glynis Day, Luke's parents, made the trip to Parliament yesterday along with his grandmothers, Julie Fenton and Kathy Day.

They met the private parliamentary secretaries of the leaders of the three main parties - Tony Blair, Michael Howard and Charles Kennedy.

The family also handed over three letters, one for each of the three leaders, calling for more to be done to crack down on MRSA in hospitals around the country.

They have vowed to continue to fight for action in memory of Luke, from Woodbridge, who was the country's youngest MRSA victim.

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Luke was just 36 hours old when he died from MRSA-related septicaemia in Ipswich Hospital on February 3.

Mrs Fenton, who wrote the impassioned letter to the party leaders, which all the family signed, said: “We're just asking them to take a part in doing something about MRSA in hospitals.

“I listed a lot of things that people have asked for, like bringing back matrons and restoring in-house cleaning.

“I'd like to see them make a joint effort to get down to doing something about it. They've got the money and the power and we haven't - all we've got is the support.”

She added: “It will be interesting to see what they've got to say, but actions speak louder than words at the end of the day.

“We're confident that this will get something done. If you can't put your trust in them, who can you trust?

“In the letter, I said we'd like to replace fear with trust in NHS hospitals. That's how I summed it up and that's the main point. At the moment people are afraid to go into hospital and that's not how it should be.”

Mr Fenton, 24, said: “It was a brilliant day. It was a bit nerve-wracking at first, but once we got inside it was fine.

“I want to see that each of the leaders get an equal insight into our situation and hopefully they can do something about it.

“We don't want them to use it as a political tool, just take some action. Hopefully, they can solve the problem, rather than trying to cover it up.”

He added: “It's taken Luke's death for anything to be done about it and we don't want anyone else to go through what we've been through.

“When you go to hospital you expect to get better, not worse. They are the people with the power and this is the place to get the message across.”

The family's MP, John Gummer, organised yesterday's meeting with the party leaders' parliamentary private secretaries - Conservative Alastair Burt, Liberal Democrat Matthew Taylor and David Hanson, Labour.

“All three party leaders are on their way to Rome for the funeral of the pope, so they won't get the letters until Monday, but they will get them,” said Mr Gummer.

“Today means that these very brave people have been able to have contact directly with the party leaders about cleanliness in hospitals and the terrifying effect it's had on their lives.

“They all live in Woodbridge, which is my constituency, and I thought it was very important they should have the opportunity to contact directly the people who have the ability to make these decisions.

“They were very brave about it and it's been remarkable how the two families have worked together. I shall be watching carefully to make sure they get a reply.”

mark.heath@eadt.co.uk

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