Charles Kennedy's pledge to MRSA family

LIBERAL Democrat leader Charles Kennedy has today promised the family of MRSA baby Luke Day that they will abolish 'political targets' for the NHS if they get into power.

A HUGE investment in nurses' uniforms is needed if hospitals are to be successful in their battle against the superbugs, it was claimed today.

The news comes as Liberal Democrat leader Charles Kennedy has promised the family of MRSA baby Luke Day that his party will abolish 'political targets' for the NHS if they get into power.

The Royal College of Nursing (RCN) said that hundreds of thousands more uniforms were needed to help combat hospital-acquired infections like MRSA.

Today, at it's annual congress in Harrogate, the RCN launched the Wipe It Out to lobby for improvements to tackle infections.

New research published in the Nursing Standard today revealed that many nurses did not have enough uniforms to be able to change every day.

The research, covering 101 NHS trusts in the UK, found that less than half (47 per cent) provided their nurses with a sufficient number of uniforms to allow a clean uniform for each shift.

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Meanwhile, in a letter to the family of Luke Day, who died at Ipswich Hospital from septicaemia caused by meticillin resistant staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) at just 36-hours-old, Mr Kennedy outlined the views of his party and their proposals to fight hospital superbugs.

Mr Kennedy offered Luke's parents, Glynis Day, 18, and Kevin Fenton, 24, his condolences after they wrote to him asking for his party's views on how to prevent further tragedies.

He wrote: "I agree with your comments about the need for urgent action to tackle MRSA and other hospital acquired infections.

"The Liberal Democrats believe the key to combating MRSA is to free the NHS from the constraints of government imposed political targets.

"We believe the use of targets has failed to capture the complexities of the healthcare system and has distorted clinical priorities away from the best interests of the patient. We will remove all political targets and ensure patients are put first."

In the one and a half page letter Mr Kennedy went on to promise cleaner hospitals, personalised patient care and priority treatment for the sickest patients if his is elected on May 5.

Luke's Dad Kevin Fenton, of Bilney Road, Ipswich, said he agreed that pressure on the NHS to meet targets was part of the problem.

He added: "Hospitals should be clean all the time but there is too much red tape and pressure on the staff at the hospital.

"This issue is no longer something that any political leader can brush under the carpet."

Luke's family travelled to Westminster with The Evening Star earlier this month to deliver letters to the leaders of all three main political parties.

They have now received replies from all three men.

Luke's grandmother Julie Fenton said she was pleased with the promptness of Mr Kennedy's reply.

She said: "I am pleased he has written to us. The political parties all have different positions about what should be done. There is no easy answer to this issue."

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