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Campaign launched with huge turnout

Andrea Jenkyns MP was joined by fellow MPs Emma Reynolds and Dr Philippa Whitford to launch the cross-party Handz campaign, supported by Chief Medical Officer Dame Sally Davies.

The campaign aims to increase awareness of good hand hygiene by sending MPs into schools into their constituencies. With the support of 40 members from across the United Kingdom the campaign will have an unprecedented reach, building on previous campaigns by the UK and Scottish governments.

Andrea has personal experience of loss as a result of poor hygiene in hospital, having lost her father to MRSA. Emma’s mother suffered from C.diff, and Philippa is a former consultant breast surgeon.

The campaign will continue for the next year, branching out into local care settings and hospitals with the help of politicians at all levels.

Also at the launch were representatives from the MRSA Action UK, the World Health Organisation, CMV Action UK and others.

Speaking at the event, Andrea discussed her own experiences and thanked all the members who have signed up for their support. She was followed by Dame Sally, who praised Andrea for her work on the campaign and discussed the importance of hand hygiene in the fight against antimicrobial resistance.

Emma and Philippa spoke of their past knowledge of hand hygiene, with Philippa bringing her experience as a former physician and discussing measures put in place to combat infections in Scotland.

John Hines from Deb Group, who are sponsoring the campaign, spoke about his organisation’s interest in combatting infections in hospitals and again praised Andrea for the work she is doing in the area.

Finally, MRSA Action UK’s Derek Butler spoke movingly about the impact of poor hand hygiene on families, and reminded everyone present that they themselves could at any point be put at risk of infection through poor hand hygiene.

Speaking after the event, campaign leader Andrea said:

“I was overwhelmed by the fantastic support we received from MPs from across the House.

“I’ve been planning this campaign since I lost my dad, so to see it have such a huge impact on its launch is so incredible.

“I’m so optimistic about what we can now achieve to combat the spread of infection.”

Chief Medical Officer Dame Sally Davies said:

“I was incredibly impressed with the dedication and passion showed by Andrea and her colleagues in launching the campaign. I was thrilled by the number of MPs who have signed up.

“This is a vital part of the global fight against anti-microbial resistance, and I’m I am delighted to lend them my support.”


Notes to Editors

  1. Please direct all media enquiries to Archie Macleod on 0207 219 4010, 07554 442109 or macleodaw@parliament.uk.
  2. The campaign is being led by Andrea Jenkyns MP (Conservative), Emma Reynolds MP (Labour) and Dr Philippa Whitford (SNP).
  3. The attached photographs show:
    1. Attendees at the launch including (L-R, front row centre) Dr Philippa Whitford MP, Andrea Jenkyns MP, Emma Reynolds MP, Seema Kennedy MP, Paul Scully MP and Victoria Prentis MP.
    2. Andrea Jenkyns MP launching the campaign.
    3. Dame Sally Davies speaking to attendees.
    4. MRSA Action UK Chair Derek Butler speaking to attendees.

Further photographs can be downloaded from www,handz.org.uk/launch-event. For high resolution copies please contact macleodaw@parliament.uk. Photos must be credited to Archie Macleod.

  1. The following organisations and individuals attended the launch:
    1. Infection Prevention Society
    2. CMV Action UK
    3. MRSA Action UK
    4. The Patients Associatoin
    5. Claire Kilpatrick and Julie Storr from the World Health Organisation
    6. Knowlex
  2. Andrea Jenkyns MP is also Chair of the All Party Group on Patient Safety and a Member of the Health Select Committee.
  3. The following MPs either attended the event, sent staff representatives or have pledged their support:
Peter Grant Scottish National Party Glenrothes
Seema Kennedy Conservative South Ribble
Paul Scully Conservative Sutton and Cheam
Rachel Maskell Labour York Central
Kevin Foster Conservative Torbay
Kevin Hollinrake Conservative Thirsk and Malton
Margaret Ferrier Scottish National Party Rutherglen and Hamilton West
Jamie Reed Labour Copeland
Nigel Mills Conservative Amber Valley
Jim Shannon Democratic Unionist Party Strangford
Victoria Prentis Conservative North Oxfordshire
Stuart Polak Conservative House of Lords
Douglas Chapman Scottish National Party Dunfermline and West Fife
Ronnie Cowan Scottish National Party Inverclyde
Therese Coffey Conservative Suffolk Coastal
Ben Howlett Conservative Bath
Mary Robison Conservative Cheadle
Jason McCartney Conservative Colne Valley
Andrea Leadsom Conservative South Northamptonshire
Mark Garnier Conservative Wyre Forest
Antionette Sandbach Conservative Eddisbury
Lucy Allan Conservative Telford
Andrew Bridgen Conservative North West Leicestershire
Steve Brine Conservative Winchester
Mims Davies Conservative Eastleigh
Michelle Donelan Conservative Chippenham
Nigel Evans Conservative Ribble Valley
Lucy Frazer Conservative South East Cambridgeshire
Ian Liddell-Grainger Conservative Bridgwater and West Somerset
Jack Lopresti Conservative Filton and Bradley Stoke
Chris Matheson Labour City of Chester
Karl McCartney Conservative Lincoln
Huw Merriman Conservative Bexhill and Battle
Will Quince Conservative Colchester
Angela Rayner Labour Ashton under Lyne
Tom Tugendhat Conservative Tonbridge and Malling
Matt Warman Conservative Boston and Skegness
Mark Durkan SDLP Foyle
Anne McLaughlin Scottish National Party Glasgow North East
Brendan O’Hara Scottish National Party Argyll and Bute


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