Emma Reynolds, Labour MP for Wolverhampton North East, has helped launch a cross party campaign to encourage people to wash their hands to prevent infections. Emma is working with Andrea Jenkyns MP, a Conservative member of the Health Select Committee and the SNP’s Health Spokeswoman, Dr Philippa Whitford MP to raise awareness of the risks of poor hand hygiene. The campaign has the backing of the Chief Medical Officer, Dame Sally Davies.

The ‘Handz’ campaign will highlight how basic hand hygiene can control the spread of antibiotic resistance, and combat bugs like MRSA. The campaign will supply a tool kit for all MPs to take into schools to encourage pupils to take just the 30 seconds it needs to wash their hands properly.

The launch is being backed by charities including the Patients’ Association and MRSA Action UK. The campaign is also being supported by the Deb Group, one of the largest suppliers of hand hygiene products to the National Health Service.

Commenting on the campaign launch, Emma said: “I’m delighted to help launch this campaign today. Two years ago my mum was seriously ill with Clostridium difficile. So this an issue that is so close to my heart. Infections such as Clostridium difficile and MRSA can usually be prevented by practising good hygiene such as washing hands regularly.

“The growing problem of antibiotic resistant bacteria is at the top of the global health agenda. Promoting good hand hygiene is key to stopping avoidable infections. The spread of such bacteria could mean that antibiotics no longer work and that we lose the ability to fight simple and avoidable illnesses.

“This would place a huge burden on the NHS and could have a devastating effect on public health. I am pleased that we are working on a cross party basis to raise awareness of this issue.”

November 2015