Response woefully inadequate

PUBLISHED: 13:00 28 December 2006 | UPDATED: 10:23 24 May 2010

I HOPE after reading in last week's Weston Mercury how friends of Weston man Geoff Brown, who died after catching the superbug clostridium difficile, are writing to make sure the town's Weston General Hospital cleans up its act it will get across loud and

I HOPE after reading in last week's Weston Mercury how friends of Weston man Geoff Brown, who died after catching the superbug clostridium difficile, are writing to make sure the town's Weston General Hospital cleans up its act it will get across loud and clear to the Government's Health Secretary Patricia Hewitt, so that health bosses will give the green light for one of the £300,000 grants available for combating this disease, so Geoff's death will not be in vain.I think the Government's response to the superbug crisis has been woefully inadequate. Twenty years ago, British hospitals had a reputation for cleanliness that was second to none. Since then, something has gone badly wrong and today this matters more than ever since many dangerous bacteria are now resistant to modern antibiotics and MRSA the most lethal is now established in most hospitals in this country.Hospital hygiene is dependent on good housekeeping, yet managers attach too little importance to cleaning. Since 1985 hospital patient numbers have risen significantly yet the number of cleaning staff has almost halved. Many hospitals put cleaning out to private contractors, cleaners are poorly paid, often poorly trained and poorly supervised. What gets measured in hospitals gets done. Cleaning is not such a high priority as reducing waiting times. It's time we got across to Heath Secretary Patricia Hewitt, that we can make a difference, and we need to get staff to understand that a simple thing like not washing hands could lead to a patient getting MRSA and the devastation of a life.D F COURTNEYVictoria Park, Weston

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