Wednesday, April 27, 2005

A Touchy Subject across the Pond

Another headache for Michael Howard, likely on his way to a disappointing election next week.

Howard 'sorry' for MRSA hygiene error

PETER MACMAHON

MICHAEL Howard was forced to apologise last night after he broke hygiene rules on a hospital visit intended to highlight his plans to wipe out MRSA.

The Tory leader, who lost his mother-in-law to a hospital acquired infection, promised £10 million yesterday to speed up diagnosis and help to eradicate the problem.

But on a visit to London’s National Hospital for Neurology and Neurosurgery, he failed to follow basic procedures aimed at halting the spread of MRSA.

Mr Howard had carefully scrubbed up before entering the Lady Ann Allerton ward. However, he did not repeat the process between shaking hands with two patients.

Catherine Cook, the hospital’s infection-control nurse, said hands should be cleaned "before you touch a patient and after you touch a patient"

This could have been averted if Howard were able to secure the advisory services of Senator John Kerry, who is quite an expert in maintaining protocol for sterile environments.

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