Family praise hospital's superbug fight

AN Ipswich family who lost a relative to MRSA have today praised the staff at Ipswich Hospital's maternity unit for their efforts in tackling the superbug.

AN Ipswich family who lost a relative to MRSA have today praised the staff at Ipswich Hospital's maternity unit for their efforts in tackling the superbug.

Paul Fayers, 52, of Cedarcroft Road, has recently spent several days at the maternity unit with his daughter Lisa and new grandson Sebastian, who was born on April 2.

Mr Fayers says the family have nothing but praise for the hospital.

He said: "Lisa spent three days and two nights on Deben ward and we could not fault it.

"Everything was so clean and there were signs up everywhere encouraging people to wash their hands.

"It was superb, we had no complaints at all."

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Mr Fayers has more reason than most to be extra vigilant when it comes to the cleanliness of hospitals.

His brother Garry died four years ago, aged just 44, after contracting the bug at Addenbrookes.

He said: "He was taken there after he suffered a brain haemorrhage and was very ill. He had major surgery which he seemed to recover quite well from but then he caught MRSA and his condition went downhill.

"It's certainly made us more aware of the importance of hygiene and cleanliness in hospitals but we can't say a bad word about Ipswich."

Miss Fayers, 22, of Ashcroft Road, said: "It was brilliant. There was the alcoholic hand gel everywhere and the nurses all had it on their uniforms.

"There were also signs everywhere encouraging people to report any problems and I think that's one of the most important things."

The problem of MRSA has been highlighted since the death of baby Luke Day in February at the Heath Road hospital.

Mr Fayers added: "We have lost babies in our family and what happened to little Luke is absolutely awful. Our sympathies are very much with his family but I just felt I wanted to let people know how conscientious everyone in that maternity unit is."

Jan Rowsell, spokeswoman for Ipswich Hospital, confirmed that no mums-to-be who had been booked in to come to the maternity unit had decided against it.

She said: "The helpline which was set up for worried parents in the days after Luke's death received several calls but everyone who had been booked in to come to the unit has attended.

"There has been a very small number of people who have asked to discuss other options before making a decision to be booked in here."

However, a national conference heard yesterday how cases of the hospital superbug are unlikely to drop because not enough beds are available to isolate infected patients.

Dr Mark Enright, senior research fellow at Bath University, said the Government's target of cutting infection rates by 2008 were "overambitious".

He told the Clean Hospitals Summit that the medical technology did not yet exist to stamp out the superbug in crowded hospitals.

Health professionals from across the UK were attending Britain's first ever Clean Hospitals Summit in London organised by The Patients Association.

What have your experiences of Ipswich Hospital's maternity unit been like? Write to Your Letters, Evening Star, 30 Lower Brook Street, Ipswich, IP4 1AN or send us an e-mail to eveningstarletters@eveningstar.co.uk

Opinion - see page 6.

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