The Royal Liverpool and Broadgreen University Hospital

MRSA Action UK present at the link nurse
infection prevention study day

Derek attended The Royal Liverpool University Hospital on 28th May 2012 and gave a presentation on the patient perspective at the link nurse infection prevention study day.

The study day was opened by Marie Dewhurst, Infection Prevention and Control Team Leader, who reviewed the last twelve months, and the forward plan for the coming twelve months. Marie had said that the Trust had done exceptionally well in reducing patients contracting avoidable healthcare associated infections, however she reiterated that they must not rest on their laurels, that there was much more work to be done, and that any avoidable healthcare infection was one too many.

Marie said that there should be an education initiative over the next twelve months, especially on hand hygiene. Her sentiments on this are shared by our Charity, as Marie pointed out, hand hygiene is not just about medical staff, it's about educating and informing patients and visitors to supplement the work done by medical staff, and that we were all in this together. Marie also touched on patients who are bed bound, who do not have the opportunity to wash their hands at a sink, and that all too often hand hygiene for these people is often missed. Marie said that the job of the infection prevention and control team should be to look at how those that are bed bound who use bed pans, who are given help with commodes at the bedside, have a facility to be able to wash and sanitise their hands, just the same as anyone else.

Marie Dewhurst, Infection Prevention and Control Team Leader, Derek Butler and Debbie Williams Infection Control Nurse

Marie then spoke about the patient experience, and how this is often missed by healthcare staff, as it's not just the patient who is affected by a healthcare associated infection, but those close around them, Marie then introduced our Chair Derek Butler, who would give a presentation about the effects on families of loved ones contracting avoidable healthcare infections. Those in attendance were moved by the account of people who had been lost to MRSA and Clostridium difficile in both the hospital and community environment, the stories were told in their relatives' own words.

Our Chair touched on antibiotic resistance, the need to develop new antibiotics, the fact that we welcomed the initiative by Glaxo-Smith-Klein and AstraZeneca to pool their resources in developing new antimicrobials, and Derek touched on the fact that it was up to the healthcare professionals, patients, visitors and the public to help slow down resistant bacteria from developing so that the scientists are given time to develop new antimicrobials.

Rebecca Molyneux, Consultant Nurse, Infection Prevention and Control, gave a presentation on multi-resistant gram negative bacteria. This presentation was very interactive, because Rebecca gave the delegates a questionnaire around gram negative bacteria. She asked them to state the difference between gram negative and gram positive, where in general gram negative bacteria would be found, and also to name as many gram negative bacteria as possible. This was really interesting and was an eye-opener, which actually supported our campaign for an educational programme aimed at medical staff as well as the general public. What was clear from the answers was that very few knew the difference between gram positive and gram negative bacteria, very few knew where gram negative could be found in the environment or on the human body, even to the fact that some thought that Staph aureus and MRSA were gram negative, that Norovirus was a bacteria, however they could name a number of standard gram negative bacteria such E.coli, C.diff, Salmonella and Pseudomonas, which was interesting.

After lunch, Christine O'Connor gave a presentation on the Australian experience and their healthcare system and their fight against avoidable healthcare associated infections. What was interesting was the ratio between nurses and patients, there were four patients to every nurse, there were national regulations from their Department of Health, and each of the five states in Australia had their own large public health authority (similar to Strategic Health Authorities here). Hospitals were of a similar size, hospital infection control teams were well supported, who all meet on a regular two week basis to discuss issues with smaller meetings in between. What was interesting and different to the UK, is that their hand hygiene programme is mandatory from their Department of Health. All clinical staff and non-clinical staff go on an induction course. Nurses attend a three day course for their competencies. The pass mark for the Acute setting is 85% and for non-Acute 75%. It is interesting that there are things that we could learn from them to help us in our fight against avoidable healthcare associated infections.

Derek also attended the Trust's Award Event at the BT Arena on Friday 8th June 2012, recognising quality, innovation and teamwork. The teams were recognised for the work that makes a real difference to patients. Stephen Mangan won the employee of the year award after going the extra mile and climbing out onto a window ledge to calm a patient and bring them back to safety during an incident at the hospital.

Chief Operating Officer and Executive Nurse, Diane Wake and
Derek Butler

Derek with BBC Radio Merseyside's, Roger Phillips who was the Master of Ceremonies for the evening

George Howarth MP, Derek Butler, Steve Rotherham MP, Roger Phillps, Professor Nigel Weatherill and Judith Greensmith CBE

Employee of the year Stephen Mangan receiving his award

If you or someone you care about has been affected by a healthcare associated infection and you wish to discuss this with us, please contact us at

The information on this website is for general purposes only and is not a substitute for qualified medical care, if you are unwell please seek medical advice.

(c) MRSA Action UK 2012