Hospital-acquired Infections

Part of the debate – in the House of Commons at 6:29 pm on 2nd March 2005.

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Photo of John Hayes John Hayes Shadow Minister (Housing and Planning) 6:29 pm, 2nd March 2005

The hon. Lady attempts to divert me from the main message that I want to deliver, which is that she needs to take the motion, the subject and the concern of Opposition Members and the British people a little more seriously.

One of my constituents, a woman in her 30s, went into a local hospital for a hysterectomy. Unfortunately, she acquired MRSA, but it was not diagnosed until after she had left hospital. She died eight weeks later. That is the reality of the situation that her family and friends must face, and it explains why the debate must not be taken lightly. We need to step beyond some of the party political knockabout, which I am sorry to say preoccupied the Minister for too much of her speech.

What can be done? We need preventative measures, including a culture change in the attitudes of all those involved in training and managing staff. We need better risk analysis and clean hospitals. When the disease occurs, we need proper responses to it, which means rapid identification, effective isolation, and the most appropriate drugs treatment in terms of both quantities and regime. We also need proper research and science.

An uncourageous attitude to the problem will not make a difference, and not making a difference will cost more lives like that of my constituent. I am not prepared to pay that price and do not think that any hon. Member should be—the Conservative Front Bench certainly is not. I wonder whether the Minister is prepared to pay that price.