Forty MPs back Andrea’s call for better hand hygiene

Andrea was joined by fellow MPs Emma Reynolds and Dr Philippa Whitford to launch the cross-party Handz campaign, supported by Chief Medical Officer Dame Sally Davies.

The campaign aims to increase awareness of good hand hygiene by sending MPs into schools into their constituencies. With the support of 40 members from across the United Kingdom the campaign will have an unprecedented reach, building on previous campaigns by the UK and Scottish governments. 

Andrea has personal experience of loss as a result of poor hygiene in hospital, having lost her father to MRSA. Emma’s mother suffered from C.diff, and Philippa is a former consultant breast surgeon.

The campaign will continue for the next year, branching out into local care settings and hospitals with the help of politicians at all levels.

Also at the launch were representatives from the MRSA Action UK, the World Health Organisation, CMV Action UK and others.

Speaking at the event, Andrea discussed her own experiences and thanked all the members who have signed up for their support. She was followed by Dame Sally, who praised Andrea for her work on the campaign and discussed the importance of hand hygiene in the fight against antimicrobial resistance.

Emma and Philippa spoke of their past knowledge of hand hygiene, with Philippa bringing her experience as a former physician and discussing measures put in place to combat infections in Scotland.

John Hines from Deb Group, who are sponsoring the campaign, spoke about his organisation’s interest in combatting infections in hospitals and again praised Andrea for the work she is doing in the area.

Finally, MRSA Action UK’s Derek Butler spoke movingly about the impact of poor hand hygiene on families, and reminded everyone present that they themselves could at any point be put at risk of infection through poor hand hygiene.

Speaking after the event, campaign leader Andrea said:

“I was overwhelmed by the fantastic support we received from MPs from across the House.

“I’ve been planning this campaign since I lost my dad, so to see it have such a huge impact on its launch is so incredible.

“I’m so optimistic about what we can now achieve to combat the spread of infection.”

Chief Medical Officer Dame Sally Davies said:

“I was incredibly impressed with the dedication and passion showed by Andrea and her colleagues in launching the campaign. I was thrilled by the number of MPs who have signed up.

“This is a vital part of the global fight against anti-microbial resistance, and I’m I am delighted to lend them my support.”

To find out more about the Handz campaign please go to the campaign website.