Matrons and nurses are to provide boardrooms with frontline accounts of the fight against hospital-acquired infections.

The NHS initiative is one of a series to be unveiled by Gordon Brown and Health Secretary Alan Johnson this week.

Mr Johnson said the concerns of nursing staff and ward matrons about cleanliness and MRSA appear to be going unheeded.

In a move to ensure that their recommendations are not ignored by management, they will get the right to report direct to hospital boards four times a year.

The strategy follows a review of the NHS instigated by the Prime Minister shortly after he took over from Tony Blair in June.

"The problem we have identified is many matrons and nurses tell us they are the experts on how to resolve this problem on their wards, but their voice is not heard clearly enough on the hospital board, the senior echelons, " Mr Johnson told Sky News.

"That's why we are introducing an obligation for them to be listened to at least four times a year for them to report."

The move to give matrons and nurses more say over efforts to tackle hospital-acquired infections comes after they were recently given control of budgets to improve cleanliness on wards.

The money is to be spent on things like new washbasins and bed linen or other items which frontline staff feel will hamper the spread of infections.