MUST Campaign Launches Petition

London, 14th May 2018

Make Urine Samples Trustworthy – this is the call of the MUST Campaign, a collaboration of medical and patient charities that is calling on the UK Government and the Department of Health to introduce a protocol that will lead to accurate diagnosis and treatment for patients from their urine samples, whilst improving infection control around the process.

What are we asking for? The MUST Campaign wants at least 100,000 people to sign its Petition on change.org, The Petition will can then be presented to the Rt Hon Jeremy Hunt, Secretary of State for Health and Social Care.

Why is it so important?  For many conditions, a urine sample is one of the most common ways in which a doctor or healthcare professional diagnose their patient.  It can point to both basic and complex health problems such as UTIs, problems during pregnancies and some cancers. Urine tests are a lot easier and safer for patients than more intrusive blood tests.  

What is the problem? Current urine collection methods are inconsistent, leading to unreliable sample quality. Whilst various guidelines exist, there is no protocol or standard set of guidelines to help ensure that the samples patients provide will be trustworthy.

How many people are affected? Every year, over 65 million urine samples will be given by patients expecting to be diagnosed and treated from those samples.  But up to 14.6 million samples -  59,000 people every working day (or 1 in 4) - will be useless.  These patients are failed by the very professionals who work so hard to deliver right-first-time care.

What will a protocol mean? A protocol for urine sample collection will not only ensure that more patients are accurately diagnosed and treated, but will also save the NHS millions of pounds as there would be much reduced need for retests or repeat prescriptions. It would mean a huge reduction in the prescribing of expensive medicines that don’t necessarily help the patient and fewer expensive operations cancelled due to urine samples that provide no firm result.

 

What are the key facts and figures around urine collection?

  • Treating a UTI relies significantly on accurate specimen collection
  • Nearly 1 in 3 women will have had at least one UTI by the age of 24
  • Around 1 in 30 boys will have a UTI by the age of 16
  • An untreated UTI can lead to sepsis, which is a life threatening condition
  • The NHS spent £434 million in 2013/14 on treating 184,000 patients in unplanned admissions associated with a UTI (Ref: Unplanned Admissions Consensus Committee)
  • Around 50% of Antimicrobial Resistance increase has a urological source

Who is behind the MUST Campaign and Petition? Three charities are spearheading the MUST Campaign, with support from other patient groups and charities:

  • The Urology Foundation
  • Bladder Health UK
  • The MAMA Academy
  • Additional support from Bladder and Bowel UK, The Patients Association and CUTIC (the Chronic Urinary Tract Infection Campaign) reinforces the MUST Petition as essential to public health

Suzanne Evans, Chief Executive at Bladder Health UK“Our team takes many calls on our Advice Line from people of all ages and sexes suffering from painful, debilitating bladder problems that are rooted in poor or slow diagnosis. Evidence is stacking up that something can be done about this and we are glad to be part of a campaign that is giving the patient a voice.”  

Louise de Winter, Chief Executive, The Urology Foundation:

“With the average national contamination rate of urine samples at around 22.5%, it seems wasteful that so much time, money and resources is being squandered on bad sample collection and the need for re-testing as this has a profound effect on patients as well as the NHS. If we can get it right first time, it would not only save the NHS millions, but improve patient care for all of us.”

Heidi Eldridge, CEO, MAMA Academy

“We hope the MUST Campaign will lead to a future where all pregnant women can receive the correct diagnosis and treatment from their urine sample.”

More about the Campaign can be found at: www.MUSTCampaign.org and patients wanting to share their stories can contact us at hello@MUSTCampaign.org.  An active social media programme will be undertaken with featured hashtags: #WEEMATTERS #MUSTSign

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