I CANNOT understand why hospital after hospital are not complying with the infection-control guidelines that are there. We're not making progress at all.
We have all the guidelines in the world but there is no enforcement of those guidelines and there is nobody with real responsibility for infection control in hospitals.
An awful lot of emphasis needs to be on hand hygiene in hospitals. It's the start of the programme for infection control.
We all know hospital staff are very busy, but you can never be too busy to wash your hands.
That's why we at the MRSA and Families Network are looking for a national director of infection- prevention control. That person needs to be completely independent of the HSE and of the Department of Health.
There needs to be an independent body of people who can go into hospitals with the authority to be able to make changes.
There should be someone there every single day, every minute of the day to enforce those guidelines.
In 2005, I didn't know what MRSA was and I learned the hard way. My husband Joe got a bloodstream infection in 2004. He spent seven months in hospital. At that particular time there was nobody at all to speak to you about infection control.
I wasn't really told what was wrong with my husband and it was a whistleblower in the end who told me.
We refer to this secrecy as 'the wall of silence'. People working in the medical profession need to speak out.
Patients too have a role to play. I find people here are terrified to ask a doctor or nurse to wash their hands. Of course you can ask, but also it should be good practice and not a chore.
We will never have a world-class health organisation if we are going to have people who won't wash their hands.
Margaret Dawson brought MRSA out of the shadows nearly 10 years ago when she founded the group MRSA and Families Network. For more information visit: www.mrsaandfamiliesnetwork.com