Bradford's hospitals are joining a national blitz on hygiene as new figures reveal the number of deaths in which superbug MRSA was a factor has doubled in the region.

The figures from the Office for National Statistics show death certificates recording MRSA as a contributing factor have shot up from 40 in Yorkshire and the Humber in 1999 to 82 in 2003.

But relatives of a Bradford man who died after apparently contracting the deadly superbug fear the true number of cases is much higher.

The family of 54-year-old Allan Grange, who lived in Cooper Lane, insist MRSA killed the dad-of-two as he was recovering from an operation to remove a cancerous tumour from his lung in Bradford Royal Infirmary.

Today his former wife Janet Hamilton, 53, said: "We had to pay £50 for all Allan's medical notes and it says in there he had MRSA but his death certificate says he died of multi-organ failure. I am not surprised by the latest figures and I'm sure the real figures are much higher. But how can it be checked if it's not being recorded on the death certificate?

"I will push for this to be recorded on the death certificate. MRSA was Allan's biggest fear before he went into hospital. The state he ended up in was tragic."

Mr Grange's sister Margaret Musgrove, 57, of Eccleshill, claimed the national hygiene blitz was part of a "whitewash" to conceal the true extent of the problem in Britain's hospitals.

Mrs Musgrove said: "What good is that going to do? This should be done all the time. When there used to be matrons they all made sure the wards were clean."

But the Think Clean Day, which will also be marked in Airedale Hospital and hospitals across the country, is being hailed as a national day to promote a team approach to cleaning and infection control.

Bradford Teaching Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust's director of infection prevention and control Dr Philip Stanley said: "Cleanliness is a top priority for everyone within the Trust and requires a team approach. It is everyone's responsibility.

"The day is about giving extra focus to our constant efforts to maintain the best possible hygiene standards. Two wards will undergo a hygiene audit to check that procedures are being followed. Anything which needs putting right will be done straightaway if possible."

Two wards at BRI will undergo a hygiene audit and staff have been invited to a Think Clean Day roadshow held in the run-up to the day. Bradford hospitals Trust says it is working hard to meet standards set in the Matron's Charter - a national action plan for cleaner hospitals.