3 October 2012
City Hospitals Sunderland NHSFT (CHS) launched this year’s staff flu vaccination campaign on Tuesday, 2 October 2012 and once again the Trust’s Medical Director and Director of Nursing (pictured) received the first vaccines in a bid to encourage staff to do the same.
During the busy winter months we must ensure our workforce is as resilient as possible so we can continue to deliver safe care to all our patients. The Trust has encouraged staff to be vaccinated in previous years and we have been pleased with the way our staff has responded and we have consistently had one of the highest uptakes in the region.
Frontline healthcare workers are more likely to be exposed to the influenza virus, particularly during winter months when some of their patients will be infected. It has been estimated that up to 1 in 4 healthcare workers may become infected with influenza during a mild influenza season, a much higher incidence than expected in the general population. It is therefore important to encourage staff to be vaccinated every year and our Occupational Health team will work with them to make it as quick and easy as possible to receive vaccinations. It isn’t only front-line staff however who should be considering vaccination as all staff play a vital part in the delivery of services to patients and absence due to flu can cause staffing difficulties.
We have over 80 ward or department based vaccinators to ensure flexibility and hopefully achieve maximum take-up. Our Occupational Health team and Practice Development team will not only support the ward based vaccinators but also provide additional drop in sessions.
Although this campaign is about staff vaccinations, members of the public should also consider getting the flu jab themselves. This is free of charge on the NHS to:
- pregnant women
- anyone with a long-term condition, including idbates, 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;
- everyone over the age of 65.
If you’re in any of the ’at risk’ groups, the flu jab is completely free, and is a safe way of protecting you and your family in a matter of minutes.
Simply contact your GP to arrange a convenient appointment and get your jab. It’s quick, safe and free for those most at risk from the flu virus.
For more information, speak to your GP or local pharmacist, or visit www.nhs.uk/flu.