There is a lobby today in the House of Commons with regard to MRSA. This is a subject which is close to my heart and one I have spoken about in both the chamber and in committee. Today I have spoken to a room full of people who are sufferers of MRSA. They have lost limbs and life as they know it. I only had to walk from my office to address the meeting, they travelled many miles. And yet still the government refuses to aknowledge the severity of the problem or to put in place the most basic measures to stop MRSA in it's tracks.
On Saturday I saw a shopper in Waitrose wearing a nurse’s uniform, leaning over the fruit with a toddler in her arms. Was she on her way to or from work? If she was on her way in, what bacteria was she taking into the hospital environment where people, as a consequence of being ill, are bound to be vulnerable and immuneosuppresed.
Why did we stop using antibacterials and wet mops to clean floors? Isn’t it obvious that dry mopping just transfers the germs around?
When a patient left a hospital bed it used to be cleaned down with Chlorahexidine solution as were the bed side table and cabinet and the bed was allowed to cool down. A nurse at Bedford hospital recently told me about ‘hotbedding’ and how in an effort to meet government targets beds weren’t given the chance to cool down before the next patient went in, usually for minor op’s to make the lists appear shorter quicker.
Tackling MRSA is a matter of common sense. Less reliance on anti-biotics. Cleaner hospitals, all hospital staff uniforms laundered on site, just like they used to be, and proper matrons who monitor and control ward cleanliness.
Why oh why can’t this be the case? In committee recently the minister had a word with me outside. She began by saying “Look Nadine, we just can’t launder uniforms on site so there is no point in asking the same question over and over again” Why can’t we? We have poured billions into the NHS. £36 Billion into a computer system which no one wants and which doesn’t even work. Why can’t we? She couldn’t answer, the people I spoke to today deserve an answer.