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MRSA Action UK: Prayers for those lost to MRSA and other infections at Westminster Abbey, and hope for the future

The Board of Trustees of the national charity MRSA Action UK met members and friends at Westminster Abbey on Thursday 28th June 2012 for a service at the Innocent Victims Memorial. The service was very moving with prayers led by Reverend Canon Ralph Godsall, paying tribute to the many who have died from MRSA and other healthcare associated infections. Those in attendance received a blessing granting rest to those who had died, and grace to those who live to campaign and work to raise awareness and help avoid further suffering from avoidable healthcare infections.

Steve Owen and Edwina Currie, former Health Minister and Patron of MRSA Action UK, laid the charity’s main wreath, made in the shape of a blue ribbon. Edwina then laid a wreath in memory of John Howard Crews who died from MRSA aged 54. Other relatives and friends laid tributes, including Sue Fallon, who laid a tribute for her daughter Sammie, who died aged just 17 with MRSA. Wendy Slack laid a tribute to Colin Law who died aged 34, also from MRSA.

The service was followed by a Reception where Derek Butler gave an overview of events over the year. Guest Speaker Simon Clare outlined the work of the Association of Aseptic Practitioners, and their vision for a standardisation of aseptic practice to bring about safer healthcare. Simon’s presentation outlined the scale of the problem of healthcare associated infections and how asepsis can play a significant part in their prevention. It was clear that there is still a lot of work to do with around 300,000 people contracting healthcare associated infections in hospital a year, often caused by interaction between healthcare workers and patients.

Aseptic non-touch technique is a clinical practice that aims to provide optimal care through the practice of providing an aseptic field for any equipment or devices that are going to be invasive for the patient. Key parts of equipment are not touched during treatment or insertion, reducing risk of micro-organisms being introduced into the insertion point or wound.

A focus on hand hygiene, aseptic non-touch technique and robust screening programmes are amongst the top high impact interventions in reducing the numbers of MRSA bloodstream infections. We believe there should be a standardised practice that should be adhered to. Australia is the first country to enshrine this standard into their clinical guidelines. No other high risk industry would not have published standards, we believe healthcare, and particularly clinical care, should.

We owe it to those who have been lost to healthcare associated infections, to protect patients from harm in the future.

Derek Butler
Chair
MRSA Action UK
http://mrsaactionuk.net/memorial2012.html
email: derek.butler@mrsaactionuk.net
telephone: 07762 741114
 

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