Working Well participates is an NHS flu fighter – protecting patients and staff against flu this winter

September 11, 2012 by  
Filed under Working Well - Staff health and wellbeing

Healthcare employees in Gloucestershire and Herefordshire will get a shot in the arm this year, quite literally, because 2gether NHS Foundation Trust’s occupational health service ‘Working Well’ is once again joining flu fighter – the national NHS staff flu vaccination campaign which aims to increase of the flu vaccine among NHS staff across England.

Vaccinations are vital to protect staff, their families and their patients, many of whom are particularly vulnerable to flu. Vaccinations also reduce sickness absence of our staff, so during the busy winter
period the NHS is able to provide the best level of care to our patients. In England, there are almost 15 million NHS hospital admissions every year. The close proximity between staff and vulnerable patients can mean that the flu virus is easily passed on, so it is important that our healthcare workers get vaccinated to avoid carrying the virus and infecting patients. In 2010/11, 602 people tragically died because of flu in England. The virus is highly preventable and staff at the three main NHS organisations of 2gether NHS Foundation Trust, Gloucestershire Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust and NHS Gloucestershire will be making the effort to join the national campaign getting vaccinated against flu and become a flu fighter!

Chief Executive of Gloucestershire Royal Hospital NHS Foundation Trust and Working Well’s largest commissioner Dr Frank Harsent said to his staff “This illness is preventable. By getting the influenza vaccination and encouraging your staff to do the same you will not only be protecting yourself and them but also your families, your patients and the NHS services you provide”.

Last year, NHS flu fighter helped 100,000 staff protect patients and themselves against flu by supporting a national improvement of NHS staff uptake of the flu vaccine from 35 to 45 per cent of the total frontline NHS
workforce – this year we aim to improve our vaccination uptake figures further to protect our staff and our patients!

Although this campaign is about staff vaccinations, the NHS can of course also offer vaccinations to patients through General Practitioners. Non-staff members of the public who can get the flu jab free of charge on the NHS include:
● pregnant women
● anyone with a long-term condition including diabetes, asthma, kidney disease or heart or
chest problems
● people undergoing medical treatment who may have a compromised immune system
● people with a neurological condition such as multiple sclerosis (MS) or cerebral palsy and everyone
over the age of 65.

Alternatively, if you are employed outside of the NHS, you too may find that your employer will support your vaccination. Ask them for more details, or ask them to speak to us at Working Well.

Comments are closed.