Record of events

Bioinfect Conference, Alderley Park Conference Centre, Cheshire

3 November 2016

The major one-day conference reviewed the critical issues relating to the development of new anti-infectives and the endemic problem of antimicrobial resistance. Derek Butler, Chair of MRSA Action UK presented “A Patient’s View” and was followed by Lord Jim O’Neill, who led the Government’s review on tackling the global problem of antimicrobial resistance, and gave the keynote address. The opening of the address began with a film on antimicrobial resistance, in which members of MRSA Action UK, Derek Butler and Maria Cann featured.

AHCP Northern Branch Annual Study Day
George Washington Golf and Spa Hotel, Stone Cellar Road, Washington, Tyne and Wear

10 November 2016

Derek Butler presented the "Future of Infection Control, Hearts and Minds" at the Association of Healthcare Cleaning Professionals' study day.

In his book "Mirage of Health" the respected French microbiologist Rene Dubos wrote, "Since the days of the cave man, the earth has never been a garden of Eden but a valley of decision where resilience is essential to survival. To grow up in the midst of danger is the fate of the human race" in the face of microbes it has been one of survival and danger.

Derek spoke of the Maidstone and Tunbridge Wells scandal in 2007 where 90 patients died and the Mid Staffordshire Scandal where there were 1,200 Deaths between 2005-2008. During this period families affected by healthcare associated infections were campaigning with MRSA Action UK to bring about change and became stakeholders in the Department of Health’s cleaner hospitals campaign and the WHO Cleanyourhands campaign. He recounted the stories of families' personal experiences and the legacy of getting infection prevention and control wrong, leaving the impact like ripples in a pond.

Delegates heard stories regarding patients as young as 17 years old, the loss of a young mother and her baby and how this had spurred the families on to bring change.

We need to focus efforts on prevention and hygiene in the healthcare environment was a key component to preventing infections, and the burgeoning impact of antimicrobial resistance for our children and grandchildren.

He asked delegates to remember, that nothing matters until it becomes personal, and all that is necessary for the harm of patients, is that good people like you do nothing.

Steve completes the Great South Run

October 23 2016

Steve ran the Great South Run on October 23rd in the autumn sunshine. The 10 mile run took him through the sights of Southsea and Portsmouth past HMS Victory, Spinnaker Tower and views of the Isle of Wight. This was certainly a victory for you Steve, finishing in a time of 01:26:37. Jules was there to support him, but still resting from running due to a back injury. Get well soon Jules and congratulations Steve.

To support Jules and Steve leave a message on their Just Giving page visit
or text MRSA66 to 70070 and the amount to donate

To see more about their races and achievements visit Jules and Steve's page

Steve runs the Chester Marathon on World MRSA Day
October 2nd 2016

Jules and Steve kicked off MRSA Awareness Month October in Chester, along with Ted their cute little terrier. Jules was there to cheer Steve on in the Chester Marathon. The grueling run started at Chester Racecourse (Ted thinks he would be good at this too!).

Jules commented "He did it! I'm so proud of him the last 10k was a struggle but he was determined to finish with a smile on his face and is very very happy with 04:29:00"

A huge thank you Steve and congratulations on completing the Chester Marathon.

Hayleigh completes the Tough Mudder

25 September 2016

At the end of September we were contacted by Hayleigh Proctor who lost her uncle Colin to MRSA. Hayleigh let us know that she would be joining friends to run the Tough Mudder on the 25th September, and had decided to donate the proceeds they raised to MRSA action UK.

Jenny, Hayleigh Dan, and Matt before the event

They raised £405.33 for MRSA Action UK and our grateful thanks go to Hayleigh and her friends and all the people who donated.

IPS Conference Harrogate

26 to 28 September 2016

The IPS annual conference attracts over 800 professionals and we hope you are one of those who take the opportunity to attend in 2016.

Provision of an exceptional educational programme each year has led to the development and expansion of the IPS Conference encouraging a larger and more varied audience. The audience is not only growing significantly in numbers, it is also changing in delegate profile and includes DIPCs, Microbiologists, Antibiotic Pharmacists, Managers as well as nursing leaders in Infection Prevention and Control.

MRSA Action UK attended again this year, promoting World MRSA Day. Professor Didiet Pittet of the World Health Organisation, launched his documentary film "Adapt to Adopt" which followed his global journey in the quest to reach healthcare professionals and communities to adapt behaviours and make hand hygiene central to caring. This included helping poorer countries adapt systems to make alcohol hand-rub and teach effective techniques to prevent and control infection. He did a book signing at the launch and thanked MRSA Action UK personally, whose Chair, Derek Butler featured in the film, for their contribution to patient safety.

Knowlex Infection Prevention and Control Conference 2016
RNCM, Manchester

6 September 2016

Derek Butler chaired the Knowlex Infection Control 2016 conference in Manchester.

Knowlex (shorthand for ‘Knowledge Exchange’) is an organisation that has been set up with the ambition of disseminating information on research and innovative practice to help healthcare professionals in their working lives. Knowlex's objective is to help all organisations involved in health – Acute trusts, CCGs, and local authorities – to become more efficient and effective in delivering better outcomes for the public. The centrepiece of the organisation's efforts will be conferences, where professionals can meet and discuss the challenges they are facing, along with exchanging the knowledge that can help them to make improvements. An on-going supplementary programme of webinars and roundtables will support these conferences.

Britain’s AMR Centre granted 100 million dollars to tackle Antimicrobial Resistance
29 July 2016

It's being described as a "grave threat" and now - a new centre in the North West is teaming up with the US to fight against antibiotic resistance, which claims 25,000 lives a year in Europe.

In a bid to help tackle this major problem the AMR Centre in Cheshire has got funding.

Derek Butler, Chair of MRSA Action UK, told Rebecca Pukiello of BBC’s North West Tonight “Losing three family members has had a massive impact. It’s changed the family for ever.” More...

Salford Professional Development The Future of Infection Prevention & Control Conference - London 7 July 2016

The Future of Infection Prevention and Control Conference, hosted expert speakers from government, healthcare, academia and the private sector presenting their views on how to address the threat of antimicrobial resistance. Topics covered included how antimicrobial resistance is spread, how ‘superbugs’ could decrease the effectiveness of modern medicine and what action can be taken to combat antimicrobial resistance before it is too late. Derek Butler attended to present the view from patients who had been affected, changing their lives forever.

AHCP - Association for Healthcare Cleaning Professionals Conference
10 June 2016

The 2016 event delivered two informative days with networking opportunities. With the ongoing pressures to deliver more for less, the 2016 conference theme, Healthcare Cleaning, Delivering Under Pressure, gave colleagues the opportunity to share knowledge and best practice. Derek Butler attended to give the patient perspective and received a generous donation from the AHCP, who nominated MRSA Action UK as recipients funds raised by a raffle with prizes donated by sponsors of the event.

5 News - Global warning over resistance of antibiotics to superbugs

May 19, 2016

If the world doesn't take action now, superbugs will kill someone every three seconds within a generation. That's the stark warning from a global study into antibiotics, which says we're overusing them and failing to develop enough new ones. The report says in future, basic procedures we take for granted could become too dangerous to carry out.

The battle against drug resistant infection

May 19, 2016

The battle against infections that are resistant to drugs has been described as "big a risk as terrorism", according to a new report. The Review on Antimicrobial Resistance says superbugs will kill someone every three seconds by 2050 unless the world acts now. Joanna Gosling spoke to Professor Laura Piddock, who advised on the report, Yvonne Smith, who lost her father to a superbug infection, Derek Butler, from charity MRSA Action UK, Sharon Brenan, a transplant patient and health journalist and Professor Paul Cosford from Public Health England. More...

MRSA Action UK: With 10 million people predicted to die every year from resistant infections by 2050 we cannot afford to wait 30-50 years before action is taken on Antimicrobial Resistance – Response to the O’Neill Report

19 May 2016

Chair and spokesperson for MRSA Action UK Derek Butler was invited on BBC 2’s Victoria Derbyshire current affairs program to discuss the release of Lord O’Neill’s report commissioned by the Prime Minister David Cameron on Antimicrobial Resistance (AMR). The report and the lack of the pharmaceutical companies’ ability or incentive to develop new treatments for the ever growing resistance to antibiotics were featured in the report. Lord O’Neill’s report highlighted concern regarding the growing threat to human health from AMR for future generations. The report cites reducing unnecessary use of antimicrobial drugs in healthcare settings; monitoring and reducing superfluous use of the drugs in farming; banning or restricting antibiotics that are vital for human health from being used in animals; using diagnostic tools to reduce inappropriate prescribing; a global public awareness campaign about the problem of drug resistance and increasing the supply of new antibiotic drugs. More...

Tameside Hospital Infection Control Study Day - Thursday 5 May 2016

Derek Butler, Chair of MRSA Action UK, attended to present 'The Future of Infection Prevention & Control' delivering key messages for staff, featuring patient stories.

A Practical Guide to improving practice and monitoring compliance against The NICE Quality Standard for Healthcare Associated Infections

Wednesday 20 April 2016, ICO Conference Centre, London

Derek Butler Chairman, MRSA Action UK presented The ‘Power’ of the Patient - Involving patients to reduce HAI. The Good story, the Bad story and what makes the difference

Infection Prevention & Control 2016

23 February 2016
The Brewery, Chiswell Street, London

Derek Butler a founding member and chair of MRSA Action UK, chaired the inaugural Infection Prevention & Control Conference, hosted by Knowlex. This opportunity to highlight the effect that healthcare-associated infections have on patients and their families, kept the conference focused on the patient. More.....

All-Party Parliamentary Group for Patient Safety 8 December 2015

MRSA Action UK Vice Chair Helen Bronstein attended the second meeting of the All-Party Parliamentary Group (APPG) for Patient Safety, chaired by Andrea Jenkyns MP. This followed the successful launch of Andrea Jenkyns MP's hand hygiene campaign.

Ben Gummer MP, Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Care Quality told the APPG further culture change within the NHS is required to improve patient safety and reduce infections, he warned that while there is a growing energy to put patient safety front and centre of the NHS, much more still needs to be done. The Minister gave examples of good practice that demonstrated how a culture shift with a clear focus on patient safety and boosting staff satisfaction can lead to enhanced care quality and efficiency in NHS Trusts.

The APPG heard from Dr Mike Durkin, Director of Patient Safety at NHS England, who emphasised a need for greater transparency across the NHS. Dr Durkin said that the NHS must be an organisation that is constantly learning, and one that places the needs of patients and their families at its core. More….

Launch of HandZ - Saving lives through clean hands

Launched in November 2015 in Portcullis House
hosted by Andrea Jenkyns MP, Chair of the APPG on Patient Safety
Supported by Dame Sally Davies, Chief Medical Officer, Department of Health

Hand Hygiene is the foundation of all good healthcare, everyone involved in caring for patients has a responsibility to clean their hands at the right time, every time.

The consequences of getting it wrong are too great for the patient and ultimately for society. Any avoidable infection is one too many, it may prove impossible to treat if antibiotics are no longer effective. So please don’t be accountable for avoidable infections. Join MRSA Action UK in supporting HandZ and make patient care the first priority and to be as safe as it can be.

Handz aims to educate young people about why hand hygiene is important. At the launch members of parliament are invited to take information away for distribution in primary schools.

Annual Infection Prevention & Control Study Day 2015, Cheshire & Wirral Partnership NHS Foundation Trust

23 November 2015

Jennifer Adams Infection Prevention and Control Nurse invited Derek Butler to speak at the Cheshire & Wirral Partnership NHS Foundation Trust IPC Study Day after hearing Derek present earlier this year.

Derek Butler, Chair of MRSA Action UK, presented "Hearts and Minds" speaking about the effects avoidable healthcare associated infections have on patients and their families and how things can be so different if we follow some simple basic rules on infection prevention and control. The presentation told the stories of many who had been lost and how if the staff caring for them had done things differently the outcomes could have been so different for the patient and their families. More….

Mid Essex Hospital Infection Prevention Link Practitioner Study Day

10 November 2015

Derek Butler addressed some 50 to 60 Link nurses at the infection prevention & control study day showing that good infection prevention and control can reduce the risk of patients contracting avoidable healthcare associated infections and that one avoidable infection was one too many. More….

Invitation to Baxter Healthcare Infection Control Roundtable Discussion, London

10 November 2015

Derek Butler was invited to attend a roundtable discussion on improving infection prevention and control and antimicrobial management within the NHS.

Attendees included a range of stakeholders relevant to the debate including policymakers, commissioners, regulators and patient representatives. At the meeting several topics were highlighted for discussion, these were, incentives for the development of new antimicrobials, funding for new antimicrobials, new technologies to prevent infections, the collection of infection data and how to share and disseminate this data, medical education and training and sharing best practice. More….

On World MRSA Day October 2nd relatives, survivors and infection prevention professionals mark World MRSA Day, October 2nd, 55 years after the superbug’s discovery

World MRSA Day logo

The late Doctor Patricia Jevons viewed the micro-organism under the microscope for the first time 55 years ago on 2nd October 1960 in a Laboratory in Colindale, London. Outbreaks followed in hospitals in the South East and MRSA was soon endemic in hospitals across the UK and then became pandemic spreading across the globe. Dr Jevons discovery was published in the British Medical Journal on January 14th 1961, acknowledging the significance of the find and its evolution, believed to from a patient’s skin lesion tested in the previous July.

These events have highlighted the importance of going back to the basics of asepsis and good hygiene to prevent infection rather than rely on our precious reserves of antimicrobials to cure the problem. More...

MRSA Action UK respond to media on NICE antimicrobial stewardship and plans to penalise GPS who 'over-prescribe'
18th August 2015

The use of antibiotics has risen steadily over recent years with 41.6 million NHS prescriptions issued last year in England alone at a cost of £192m. Nine out of ten GPs say they feel pressurised to issue the prescriptions and 97 per cent of patients who ask for them are prescribed them. Between 20 and 30 per cent of antibiotics currently prescribed by the NHS are unlikely to benefit patients, for example because they are suffering from a throat virus – one of the most common reasons for taking a course of antibiotics.

Derek Butler, Chair of MRSA Action UK was interviewed by Channel 5 News and on BBC Radio London giving our viewpoint and spoke about the impact of antimicrobial resistance on families in the reports.

MRSA Action UK is calling for education for both prescribers and the public. In its response to the consultation on the NICE quality statement on antimicrobial stewardship the charity asked for the provision of antimicrobial pharmacists and improved diagnostic tools to speed up the process of identifying organisms that cause infections. There is, we feel, an emphasis needed on prescribing the correct antimicrobial at the right time. Without the training and tools of the trade this is a challenge for prescribers. Derek advised that we have to preserve these powerful drugs or we would be facing a future where the simplist of infection will be untreatable, and return to the pre-antibiotic era. View our press release for more information

Maria Cann recognised for patient involvement work by the University of West London

23 July 2015

maria cann

Maria at Wembley Stadium after receiving her award

Leading figures in the health sector were honoured by the University of West London’s (UWL) College of Nursing, Midwifery and Healthcare on Thursday 23 July. The University’s annual graduation ceremony took place at Wembley Stadium and the honorary degree recipients were joined by more than 1600 graduates.

Receiving honorary degrees were Sandra Hatton, former Managing Director of Health Education Thames Valley; and Maria Cann, founder member of patient charity MRSA Action UK. More....

The Future of Infection Prevention and Control Conference 2015

Wednesday 8 July 2015, University of Salford, Manchester

Derek Butler delivered a leading address at The Future of Infection Prevention and Control Conference 2015, which took place on Wednesday 8 July 2015, at the University of Salford, Manchester. Derek's presentation showed the human cost of acquiring avoidable healthcare associated infections, and also drew on knowledge from other industries to highlight how systems thinking and human performance can be applied in healthcare to make patient care safer. This was also a feature in other speakers' presentations.

The shared aim of all healthcare professionals is to reduce the risk of harm from healthcare-associated infections for patients, staff and visitors; and to reduce the costs associated with preventable infection.

The conference provided delegates with knowledge and information about the practical tools mentioned here to prevent and control Healthcare Associated Infections (HCAIs). The conference explored how patient safety can be improved, associated costs reduced, and what training can be introduced to ensure rates of infection continue to fall, and the quality of health outcomes improve. Through discussion, debate and engagement, delegates heard about key updates in regards to detection, prevention and control from leading experts. Key issues addressed on the day included:
-Meeting targets and implementing NICE's quality improvement guidance
-Improving patient safety through infection prevention
-Strengthening multi-agency working: information sharing between health services
-Reducing the costs associated with preventable infection
-Training and engagement strategies to support healthcare workers reduce infection rates
-Infection prevention and control and health inequalities
-The role of new technologies in minimising risk from HCAIs

Reducing healthcare associated infections: Combating pervasive threats conference

30th June 2015
The Mermaid Centre, London

In July 2014 David Cameron announced a package of measures to take antimicrobial resistance, including an independent commission looking at the issue led by economist Jim O’Neill.

"Resistance to antibiotics is now a very real and worrying threat, as bacteria mutate to become immune to their effects," said Cameron. "With some 25,000 people a year already dying from infections resistant to antibiotic drugs in Europe alone, this is not some distant threat but something happening right now. If we fail to act, we are looking at an almost unthinkable scenario where antibiotics no longer work and we are cast back into the dark ages of medicine where treatable infections and injuries will kill once again."

The latest event in the Reducing HCAIs series of conferences, Combating Pervasive Threats explored the greatest infection risks challenging healthcare providers today. Delegates learned about the threats on the horizon and how the best performers in their fields of expertise were tackling the problems.

Delegates from MRSA Action UK attended the event and would like to thank GovToday for the opportunity to speak about their work with the James Lind Alliance Priority Setting Partnership, identifying future research into preventing healthcare associated infections and antimicrobial resistance.

Ladies at Winifred Dell Care Home
make teddies for MRSA Action UK
17 June 2014

Our thanks go to the ladies at Winifred Dell Care Home for making teddies to raise funds for MRSA Action UK. Jules Owen is offering these cute teddies for a suggested donation of £2 to friends and colleagues. Each teddy has a hand wash spray, so the message about hand hygiene in helping to protect us from infections is clear - it's always good to have clean hands to stave off things like tummy bugs and flu, not just for the care setting! These cute bears are irresistible. Thanks ladies, and thanks Jules yet again!

Visit to Abacare Care Agency
Menai Parc, North Wales

June 12 2015

Abacare Care Agency invited MRSA Action UK to their induction training to observe hand hygiene, use of personal protective equipment and infection prevention and control training.

Abacare Care Agency provide care for people in their own home, including live in care, dementia care and domiciliary care. They were awarded the UK Over 50s 2014 Housing Award for the most outstanding care agency in the UK.

During our visit it was encouraging to see the attention given to infection prevention and control in the community setting, particularly in light of the vulnerable people that Abacare Care Agency look after. We were impressed with the week-long induction training programme, covering the essentials of care, dignity and respect.

With Public Health England figures showing 70% of MRSA and Clostridium difficile infections now attributed as being acquired in the community setting, the focus given to the hospital setting needs to be directed at infection prevention and control in the community. A lot can be learned from the approach taken by Abacare Care Agency.

BBC Radio 4 - The Report
7 May 2015 - 8.00pm

Drug Resistance

Why drug resistance is now regarded by the UK government as one of the most severe threats to public safety. Peter Marshall reports.

Derek Butler and Maria Cann join the debate on BBC Radio 4

MRSA Action UK proposal to the government

Healthcare Infections A Manifesto 2015
29 April 2015

With growing problems with antimicrobial resistance, reductions in Clostridium difficile disease stalling at around 20,000 recorded cases a year, and 14,000 Staph bloodstream infections a year – the micro-organism involved in the evolution of MRSA - MRSA Action UK calls for cross-party support in "Healthcare Infections a Manifesto 2015"

Jules and Steve triumph in the London Marathon
for MRSA Action UK
26 April 2015

We knew they would do it. Jules smashed it in 04:00:09, just ahead of Steve who did a fantastic run in 04:07:50, we saw you on TV Steve! They have raised £5,288.96. We thank everyone who kindly donated and cheered them on. They have now clocked up 1,640 race miles between them (without the training). They are truly amazing!

Read more about their achievements on their dedicated webpage

To support them leave a message on their Just Giving page visit
or text MRSA66 to 70070 and the amount to donate

Association of Hospital Cleaning Professionals
Southern Branch Study Day

9 April 2015

Carlos Alves, Southern Branch Chairman and Housekeeping Services Manager at West Suffolk NHS Foundation Trust invited MRSA Action UK to present at their Study Day. More....

International MRSA Testing Week

April 1st - 7th 2015

Our colleague and friend in the USA Jeanine Thomas is working on some new programs for the MRSA Survivors' Network - encouraging youth involvement and exploring the possibility of producing a documentary on MRSA. Jeanine is aiming to introduce a Bill for universal screening for MRSA at a federal level.

Jeanine will be hosting the 7th Annual World MRSA Day Kickoff event on Saturday, September 26th 2015 in Chicago. Her events will coincide with our awareness raising throughout October and on World MRSA Day itself, October 2nd, we will be at the annual Infection Prevention Society Conference in Liverpool, where we will be promoting awareness with colleagues from across healthcare who are experts in infection prevention and control.


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