Record of events

These are just some of our more recent events. Visit our archived pages to see TV appearances and other activities in our work with government, healthcare trusts and other agencies to raise the profile and awareness about healthcare infections and disseminate good practice.  If you would like more information about any of the items here, or if there other events you would like to see included then please contact us at
MRSA Action UK attended
Reducing HCAIs 2014: The Worldwide Effort on 3 November 2014

Govtoday held its third national conference of the year, Reducing HCAIs 2014: The Worldwide Effort, the conference considered what healthcare providers around the world are doing to mitigate the infection risk within the care settings they manage and what best practice the UK can learn from. The conference also gave opportunities to learn about the UK's response and preparedness for Ebola, with sessions on personal protective equipment being used in Sierra Leone and on order for UK healthcare facilities.

Visit the Govtoday website for more information
Maria Saraceni has completed the Reaper's Run in Coventry
On Saturday 18th Oct 2014

Trees and winding forest trails mud, lakes and obstacles are waiting for Maria to run the Reaper, all for MRSA Action UK. Maria tells her story of her own experience with MRSA on her Just Giving page:

"I myself acquired MRSA whilst pregnant with my third child. It was the most frightening illness I have ever experienced, especially when, after three years of suffering, I was down to the last treatment options. Hope was further fading when I was informed that I had a very rare form, Panton-Valentine Leukocidin (PVL), which, at that time, the consultants had little knowledge of and the prognosis was poor."

"However, it is not just my experience that inspires me. I have a number of friends whose loved ones went into hospital with an illness or condition and ended up losing their life to a hospital acquired infection."

"I am concerned for the future of healthcare, for although we have a modern healthcare system, this is meaningless if we still have avoidable healthcare infections in our hospitals. I am thus raising funds for the charity MRSA Action UK to help them campaign for safer standards in our hospitals, to ensure that we pass on to our children a healthcare system safer than the one we inherited from our parents and to support and help those affected by avoidable healthcare infections."

"I would like to take this opportunity to thank my good friend Sue who, just as I was giving up hope, contacted and put me in touch with Derek and Maria, founders of MRSA Action UK. Derek and Maria's own personal tragedies led them to form MRSA Action UK and they work tirelessly, on an entirely voluntary basis, to help and support others, like myself, affected by hospital acquired infections and their families. Their help and support was invaluable and I think it would be fair to say that they saved my life. Several years have now passed and I will remain forever indebted to them, not only for the practical help they provided but for the much needed emotional support that made me feel I wasn't alone and that there was hope. And there was!"

"I now think it is time I gave something back."

To support Maria visit her Just Giving page at

Thank you Maria.

Healthcare colleagues and industry recognise World MRSA Day and World MRSA Awareness Month - October at Infection Prevention 2014

Once again colleagues from across healthcare recognised the significance of World MRSA Day on October 1st at Infection Prevention 2014. The exhibition hall at The Scottish Exhibition and Conference Centre in Glasgow was full of people wearing awareness ribbons, we took the opportunity to take photos on the day. More...
Jules and Steve are back on track and have completed the Great North Run in Newcastle on 7th September 2014

This is a magnificent achievement in itself, but even more so this month. Julia's dad has been poorly after having a stroke, but we know where Julia gets her determination and strength from, as her dad is well on the road to recovery.

Jules says "This one's for you Dad..."

Jules and Steve both completed 01:54:52, Jules said "it was hotter than expected! It wasn't about the time although with no training and fuelled by galaxy caramel I'm not complaining! Today we had our dad's on our minds and we we're both very emotional at the end. We'll be back...."

Our best wishes go to Jules, Steve and the family, and for a speedy recovery for Charles.
MRSA Action UK attends a Community Fun Day at Grange Park, Blackpool
Sunday 20 July 2014

A Community Fun Day was held in memory of Maureen Horn on the anniversary of her passing on Sunday 20 July. Maureen was a community leader who always had time for anyone in need, and gave up her time for children on Grange Park, Blackpool.

MRSA Action UK often give support with hand hygiene events with the children at the Cherwell Centre, and Staphon the superbug put in an appearance, with several volunteers offering to take on the role during the event. Staphon always draws a lot of attention at events and our thanks go to Molnlycke Healthcare for supporting the event with the loan of Staphon. More...
Luton and Dunstable Infection Control Study Day 27th June 2014

Derek Butler was invited to talk and share views of MRSA from a patient's perspective to Infection Control Link Staff at Luton and Dunstable Hospital. The Infection Control Link Staff comprise of nurses and other allied health professionals. More....

GovToday Reducing HCAIs 2014
Tackling antimicrobial resistance conference
25 June 2014

The conference gave an insightful view into the future for antibiotics and how resistance means considering radical changes to how we use them. The discovery void continues and more worryingly even if we were to develop more antibiotics in the near future, we are already in a position where we are experiencing some untreatable infections.

Daily Telegraph columnist Joe Shute chaired the conference and was an excellent master of ceremonies. His article 'Too Much of a Good Thing' is compelling reading and highlights the complexity involved in the battle with antimicrobial resistance. More....
Trent Infection Prevention Society
The Darling Bugs of May
Annual one day conference, Nottingham on 13 May 2014

The Darling Bugs of May is the annual branch conference of the Trent Branch of the Infection Prevention Society. The conference looked at challenges of infection prevention in home and everyday life with information from Professor Sally Bloomfield, Honorary Professor London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine. Hand hygiene excellence methods were showcased, and national initiatives to improve antimicrobial stewardship in England was presented by Carole Fry, Nursing Officer Communicable Diseases. Dr Tim Boswell, Consultant Medical Microbiologist and Infection Control Doctor spoke about an outbreak of the 'new' superbug - MSSA.

A healthcare infection - a lifetime legacy, hearts and minds was presented by Derek Butler, Chair of MRSA Action UK.

Healthcare associated infection service users' research forum

Thursday 8 May 2014
Egyptian Room, London Art House

There were three very interesting speakers at the SURF workshop giving an insightful view of the challenges facing healthcare providers in terms of the emerging threats from multi-drug resistant bacteria. The scenarios are worrying but the efforts being made to research solutions are being stepped up with ministries in the UK, Europe and USA giving antimicrobial resistance the full attention it deserves. The threat is greater where countries have no regulation of antibiotic use, and a global approach is needed. More...

Reducing HCAIs 2014
18th February 2014
Brewery Conference Centre, London

Reducing HCAIs 2014 was well attended and we were lucky enough to have been given an exhibition space for the charity's stand. During the networking sessions we had over 400 delegates visiting the stand and many of them took our posters promoting hand washing and patient information leaflets back to their hospitals and organisations.

The programme was packed with interesting speakers and there were plenty of opportunities to join the debate and ask questions. More....
Mid-Yorkshire Hospitals NHS Trust
held a hand hygiene study day
at Pinderfields Hospital
Monday 27th January 2014

Joining Derek on the podium at the Hand Hygiene Master Class on 27th January was Claire Kilpatrick - who also consults on patient safety for the World Health Organisation - and Julie Storr, the President of the Infection Prevention Society of the UK and Ireland.

Claire Kilpatrick, Derek Butler and Julie Storr

The speakers and breakout sessions were well received by the 60 delegates who attended. Diane Goodwin, Maternity Ward Manager at Dewsbury, said: "The day really made me think and when you hear personal stories it sticks better. I think we all knew it was important to have high standards of hygiene - now we also know why." More
Mid-Yorkshire Hospitals NHS Trust
Infection Prevention and Control hand hygiene poster competition winner announced

The Trust and charity MRSA Action UK are pleased to announce the winner of the infection prevention and control schools poster competition, after a search took place for the best design.

Milena Chambers, aged nine, from Outwood Primary Academy, Kirkhamgate Wakefield, had her artwork chosen for the winning poster to raise awareness of the importance of hand hygiene. More...
Antimicrobial resistance - stemming a healthcare time bomb

European Antibiotic Awareness Day

Monday, 18th November 2013

The UK Government recently published its Five Year Antimicrobial Resistance Strategy 2013-18 setting out how it aims to tackle the problem, one of the most significant public health threats today. The strategy aims to address the challenges we face around antimicrobial resistance.

Antibiotic resistant infections account for 25,000 deaths a year across Europe, 10% are in the UK.

Earlier this month Dame Sally Davies, Chief Medical Officer for England told ITV's Tonight programme how we could be facing a very challenging future for relatively routine operations like hip or knee replacements if our stocks of antibiotics are not used judiciously. Without effective antibiotics surgery will be risky as we could be in a position where we get an infection that will not respond to antibiotics. More....
Visit to Outwood Grange Academy to launch a schools poster campaign
5th November 2013

Derek Butler and Andrea Jenkyns will be working with schools in Yorkshire promoting hand washing with children and getting children to design posters to display in local hospitals. They are hopeful of promoting this idea to the Department of Health to get them to roll out a national campaign. They used the materials from the highly successful 'Give Soap a Chance Campaign' designed by our colleague Eileen Henderson from Hull and East Yorkshire Hospitals NHS Trust. More....
ITV Tonight October 24th 7.30pm

When the drugs don't work

Tragic Sammy Fallon died of an MRSA-connected illness at the age of 17. Her mum Sue spoke to Tonight.

"The pharmaceutical companies need to do more research and try and find antibiotics that will fight these superbugs. And the doctors need to stop just giving people antibiotics for no reason because that's why we're becoming immune to them."


The programme looks at the international nature of the problem, and accompanies Professor Tim Walsh of Cardiff University in India as he takes samples of water from the Ganges River. He is looking for an enzyme called NDM1 which converts normal bacteria into antibiotic resistant bugs.

More about Sammie's story

Read the summary on ITV's website

Surrey and Sussex Healthcare NHS Trust
Infection Prevention Masterclass
East Surrey Hospital

23rd October 2013
Derek Butler and Maria Cann visited East Surrey Hospital to hear about the way forward for infection prevention and Derek gave the patient experience and case studies showing both good and poor practice and the impact this has on patients and families. More...
October - World MRSA Awareness Month has been a busy time for Jules and Steve Owen. They have completed well over 450 event miles since they began running for us in 2011 and have raised £3,113.69 on their Just Giving page, including the tax refund from Gift Aid.

They actually have done much more than that in terms of the profile they are raising on their travels, they are great ambassadors for the charity.

A special thanks goes to Steve's colleague Tom Mercer, who kindly donated £500 he won in a client's raffle.

They had a fantastic time running the 40th Berlin Marathon on 29th September 2013 and took the opportunity to take in some sightseeing and enjoy the culture of Germany, a well deserved break for them both. Steve completed the marathon in 4:11 and Jules in 4:13.

They ran the BUPA Birmingham Half marathon on Sunday 20th October and finished in 1:53, Jules tweeted "Very happy as done little since Berlin. Very hilly!" MRSA Awareness month finished in Portsmouth for Jules and Steve with the Great South Run on the 27th October.

It was a windy Great South Run in Portsmouth. Jules and Steve completed the 10 miles in 82 minutes, a new personal best by 4 minutes. Jules tells us Mr O lost a bet so he ran in a pink onesie.

And here is the pink bunny!

You can read more about their epic adventures and how the fundraising all began in the special article on page 7, written for Colchester Council's staff newsletter.
MRSA Survivors Unite for World MRSA Day

The Fifth Annual World MRSA Day Kickoff Event & Global C diff Summit was held on Saturday, September 28, 2013 at the Hinsdale Community House in Hinsdale, Illinois.

Jeanine Thomas, founder of Chicago based MRSA Survivors Network says "Hospitals in the US continue to under report MRSA infections..."

MRSA Action UK's opinion is that MRSA and other infections are under-reported here too, with only MRSA bloodstream infections being reported and published regularly, something that the Department of Health needs to address.

Richard Branson, founder of Virgin Unite gave a special message to attendees of the event in Hinsdale, Illinois via video, and can be viewed here.

MRSA Action UK events

Here in the UK, families affected by MRSA attended Infection Prevention Awareness days in hospitals and heard from experts in the field of Infection Prevention at the Annual Infection Prevention Society Conference in London, from September 30 to October 2. Everyone joined in by wearing their MRSA Awareness Ribbons, many delegates told us they were promoting MRSA Awareness events at their healthcare facilities and took plenty of information for patients away with them.

Professor Graham Ayliffe on World MRSA Day

You can view pictures of delegates and corporate members taking part here.

The Infection Prevention Society responded the Keogh Review and welcomed its emphasis on maintaining the highest standards of infection prevention and control. In 2012 the Society worked with the Patients Association and Royal College of Nursing to recommend the need for a national discussion on the future of infection prevention and control, both its strategic structures and how best to guarantee sustainability and further improvements over time.

Other key findings of the review supported by the Society include:

- A need to triangulate staffing levels and healthcare associated infection risk;
- Surgeons taking ownership of surgical site infections;
- The urgent need to move towards realistic, accurate, reliable hand hygiene monitoring and compliance reporting with compliance monitored by validated tools;
And (with an emphasis on implementation at the point of patient care)
- The need to routinize hand hygiene;
- The need for hand hygiene products to be available in a reliable way

Awareness raising by family affected by MRSA

Steve and Julia Owen, Trustees of the charity MRSA Action UK took part in the Berlin Marathon on Sunday 29th September, a fantastic way to raise awareness and funds for MRSA Action UK. They have run 450 miles raising awareness on our behalf. Steve's father Donald sadly died as a consequence of MRSA during a routine operation, and the couple are helping by raising awareness everywhere they go.

Infection Prevention is everyone's business, and staff must be trained in how to avoid infection risk at all levels.

Julia and Steve Owen at the First Back to the Stadium National Lottery Event this year

October - MRSA Awareness month

October is MRSA Awareness month, trends in the Department of Health's reporting show that traditionally October see's a dip in the numbers of reported cases, this may be down to infection prevention awareness raising and training programmes taking place.

MRSA Action UK would like to see this focus become permanent in all healthcare facilities, with weekly briefings for all staff on how well they are doing, and surgeons being briefed on any infections that have developed after surgery, implementing actions to address any clusters or outbreaks of infection.

Everyone needs to be the best they can be when delivering patient care, everyone must be Infection Preventionists - in the words of Aristotle: "We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence, then, is not an act, but a habit"

Royal Liverpool and Broadgreen Hospitals
Infection prevention study day
4th October 2013

Derek Butler attended the Royal Liverpool link nurse infection control study day. This was Derek's second visit to the hospitals infection control day.

Derek's presentation, "Nursing Proud to Care" showed how poor standards of nursing care impact on patient safety and the contraction of healthcare associated infections. Derek told his audience the story of patients affected using the words from families who had been bereaved following the contraction of what could have been avoidable infections.

Derek used a real life story on how when the nursing staff gets things right it can lead to patients making a full recovery, even at 90 years of age in one instance. The importance of the message Derek was trying to convey is that they must realise that "the actions of ONE, can affect the lives of MANY".

Patient stories were presented at
University Hospitals Coventry and Warwickshire NHS Trust
Nursing Summit

10th July 2013

Derek Butler returned to the University Hospitals Coventry and Warwickshire NHS Trust again to present the patient stories that were delivered on the Infection Prevention and Control study days in previous years. The presentation was to a wider audience this year and reflected the human outcomes of contracting healthcare associated infections.
Stop! And just wash your hands! Royal Liverpool and Broadgreen University Hospitals Trust Campaign won a special award on Friday 28th June. The award was for demonstrating commitment to a serious issue in a fun and engaging way.

Marie Dewhurst received the award at the annual staff awards ceremony, and is pictured with Derek Butler at the event. The video promoting the campaign is innovative and a brilliant example of how to engage everyone in the importance of hand hygiene and patient safety.

Derek will be visiting the hospital again in October to give the patient experience at the Trust's infection prevention and control training event.

Our thanks to Katrina Arnott who held a charity fundraising event in memory of her grand-papa James (Jim) Arnott. He loved his pub games and was an avid Liverpool FC fan and sadly passed away on 20th April 2003. The event was held over two days at the Downfield FC Social Club in Dundee.
MRSA Action UK Annual Memorial
Westminster Abbey
Thursday 13th June 2013

Families gathered to lay wreaths to remember those that have suffered and those who have been lost to healthcare associated infections and all those lost at Mid Staffs. More....

Family fun day at the Cherwell Centre, Blackpool, Sunday 9th June 2013

Derek Butler, Chair of MRSA Action UK, opened the Family Fun Day at the Cherwell Centre on Sunday 9th June. The event was attended by the Blackpool Grange Park Scout Group and sponsored by the local Grange Pharmacy, and there were a lot of fun activities to take part in. Molnelycke Healthcare loaned Staphon the superbug for the day and children took part in a lucky dip with superbug prizes, raising awareness and funds for activities at the Cherwell Centre. More...
Healthcare Associated Infection Prevention Watchdog Awards Judging
Wednesday 24th April

Derek Butler, Chair of MRSA Action UK, took part in the judging of the HAI Watchdog Awards at Raddisson Blu Hotel in Manchester on Wednesday 24th April. This is a chance to recognise and promote best practice in healthcare and, in particular, efforts made by staff who champion the prevention of infections in everything they do. If your organisation wants to share their innovation then visit the HAI Watchdog website to find out more and register.
Angie Kelly and friends completed their walk in memory of Paul Kelly and raise funds for MRSA Action UK

On Sunday 21st April (just over 2 years since Paul Kelly, MRSA Action UK's friend and former Vice Chair, passed away) family and friends completed their challenge in Macclesfield Forest, the weather was a little damp but there was hot chocolate and chips at the end.

We were all very fond of Paul and we think he would agree that this is a great way to remember him. Thank you Angie.

You can leave a message or donation on Angie's Just Giving page at

Supporting Good Hospital Environments:
The Introduction of Patient-led Assessments of the Hospital Environment (PLACE)

19th March 2013
Palace of Westminster
Hosted by Baroness Thornton

Dr Dan Poulter, Parliamentary Under Secretary of State for Health gave the Ministerial Address: The Government's commitment to improving patient and public engagement in healthcare
Resistance to antibiotics risks health catastrophe
Monday 11th March 2013

MRSA Action UK responds to the Chief Medical Officer's first annual report and her comments.

Andrea Jenkyns spoke on Sky News, Steve Owen was interviewed on BBC Radio 5 Live and ITN News, Derek Butler spoke to BBC Radio 5 Live, BBC Radio Coventry, BBC Radio Lancashire, BBC Radio London and BBC News 24.

The families affected by antimicrobial resistance feature in the news, the tragic consequences from contracting MRSA is a stark example of things to come if multi-drug resistance is left unchecked.

View the Chief Medical Officer's statement here

Listen to Derek Butler's BBC Radio 5 Live interview
Listen to Steve Owen's BBC Radio 5 Live interview
Listen to BBC Radio Coventry interview
Listen to BBC Radio Lancashire interview
Listen to BBC Radio London interview

MRSA Action UK took part in Reducing HCAIs 2013 - Improving Clinical Practice, the 5th Annual National Conference and Exhibition,
in London on Wednesday 13th February 2013. Improving Clinical Practice focussed on the challenges being faced within the clinical setting, and how reductions of Surgical Site Infections (SSI) must be achieved. Currently, SSIs represent around a fifth of all healthcare-associated infections with five per cent of patients undergoing surgery developing one. More...

SURF Workshop
31st January 2013
Goodenough College, London

Maria Cann and Helen Bronstein attended the SURF Workshop in London. There were a lot of interesting learning and development opportunities discussed, and updates on research projects that we are involved in. More....

Infection Prevention and Control Community Nurses Study Day
24th January 2013 at Spencer House Birchwood Warrington
Derek Butler presented the patient's perspective and the importance of communication between healthcare workers, patients and their carers. More....

Devon and Exeter Medico Legal Association (DEMLA) meeting
10th January 2013

Chris Thorne of Foot Anstey with Derek Butler and the Chair of DEMLA,
Christopher Gardner-Thorpe

On the 10th January MRSA Action UK members Derek Butler, Maria Cann, John Galvin and Susan Spratt attended the Devon and Exeter Medico Legal Association (DEMLA) meeting to take part in the debate about healthcare associated infections and the legal and moral dilemma faced by staff and patients when things go wrong.

The event was well attended by professionals from the medical and legal profession. More...

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 2014