Support mounts for MRSA campaign

THE family of baby MRSA victim Luke Day are set to arrange a meeting with Tory leader Michael Howard – as the number of signatures on our campaign petition reaches the 3,000 mark.

THE family of baby MRSA victim Luke Day are set to arrange a meeting with Tory leader Michael Howard - as the number of signatures on our campaign petition reaches the 3,000 mark.

In the aftermath of Luke's death at Ipswich Hospital in February, Mr Howard - whose mother-in-law was also killed by the superbug - wrote to the grieving family and pledged to meet them "in the coming weeks".

And, despite fears that his decision to step down following the party's election defeat would derail the meeting, his office contacted Luke's family in Woodbridge last week.

Now they are discussing a possible date for the meeting, which will be held at the House of Commons.

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Julie Fenton, Luke's paternal grandmother, said: "They (Mr Howard's office) asked if would we still like to come and meet him.

"It will be at the House of Commons and we have to get back to them when it would be convenient.

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"He is the ideal person to get and he must have empathy with us because of what happened to his mother-in-law, but I don't know what he could do.

"I definitely thought that he had completely forgotten us though - I would have been disappointed about that."

The breakthrough comes as our campaign, launched in the wake of Luke's death, continues to gather pace.

The campaign petition, which we intend to present to new Health Secretary Patricia Hewitt, calls on the Government and the region's NHS Trusts to do more to stamp out MRSA in our hospitals.

Of the 3,000-name achievement, Mrs Fenton added: "That's outstanding - we're really pleased with the support.

"It just goes to show that it's affected so many people and heightened the awareness of the issue.

"The support is out there. It's not just our problem, it's everybody's problem."

Terry Hunt, EADT editor, said: "The response to our campaign shows just how serious a problem MRSA has become.

"With the support of our readers, the EADT will continue to campaign to stamp out this dreadful, life-threatening bug. I would urge everyone to sign our petition form."

And, told of the success of our petition, a spokeswoman for the Department of Health re-iterated the commitment within the NHS to crack down on the killer bug.

She said: "Tackling MRSA and other healthcare associated infections is a top priority for the NHS. "The NHS has made a good start and some hospitals have succeeded in cutting their MRSA rates. "However, more work needs to be done.

"The Health Improvement and Protection Bill announced in the Queen's speech will improve the quality of patient care and hospital hygiene.

"The main aim of these proposals is to ensure that there is an effective inspection regime with real teeth.

"Key measures on hospital hygiene will include introducing a new hygiene Code of Practice for all NHS bodies, independent healthcare providers and care homes, improved inspection arrangements to ensure all healthcare bodies meet these standards, and a new range of measures for bodies which

fail to meet standards.

"We will consult on all these measures, including the detail of the Code of Practice and the special measures that can be taken, in the summer."

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