The Trust’s flu team were determined to make 2016/17 the year that we achieved our highest uptake of staff seasonal flu vaccinations and have been working hard to encourage frontline staff to have their flu jab this winter.
We want our staff to be protected so they don’t pass the virus to their families, colleagues or to vulnerable patients. Vaccinations really can save lives.
The good news is that 77.8% of our staff chose to be vaccinated this year – that’s 1,895 GMW staff, even though these vaccinations are entirely voluntary.
This puts us in the record number of 75 NHS trusts who have reached the 75 per cent uptake figure, and puts us in the top five most improved NHS trusts and the top three mental health trusts across the country.
We are committed to providing vaccinations for all of our frontline staff. We provide detailed information to promote awareness and address any concerns. We also make having the flu jab accessible and convenient.
Some examples of the various incentives and initiatives we’ve run to increase uptake of the flu jab and help reduce the spread of flu, are:
- We have more vaccination clinics in more of our buildings and there is a choice of times for staff to choose from.
- Over 100 Local Flu Fighter Nurses have been trained to administer the vaccine to frontline staff around the Trust.
- All frontline staff who received their flu jab within the first two weeks of the flu vaccination season (October 2016) received a free Flu Fighter goodie bag containing a Flu Fighter pen, ice scraper, trolley keyring, takeaway flask and a canvas shopper bag.
- Every two weeks, frontline staff who receive their flu vaccination are entered into a prize draw with the chance of winning an IPad or £100 worth of high street vouchers
- We are now offering all staff the seasonal flu vaccine and are still running vaccination clinics as flu is more prevalent between December and March, so it’s not too late to get the vaccine.
Our local flu vaccination campaign is supported with advice and resources from the national Flu Fighter campaign, which is run by the NHS Employers organisation and supported by Public Health England.
Cathy Lovatt, Lead Nurse for Practice and Performance at GMMH, commented: “This year’s Flu Fighter campaign has been a real success and a credit to the 100 plus Flu Fighter nurses who have been busy vaccinating their colleagues. The team have been really involved and proactive with the campaign, and were determined to increase the amount of people taking up the vaccination in 2016/17.
“Thanks to everybody who received the vaccine and promoted the campaign.
“Flu circulates all year round, however it is more prevalent between December and March, therefore it’s not too late to get the vaccine.
“We encourage all of our frontline NHS staff to have their flu vaccination. Not only is this a quick and simple procedure, with little or no side effects, but it can also save lives.
“We are now offering all staff the vaccine and we are still running vaccination clinics to protect our employees this winter, and also their families, colleagues and patients.”
Although this campaign is about staff vaccinations, the NHS offers vaccinations to patients who can have the flu jab free of charge.
Eligible groups include:
- pregnant women
- anyone who is a full-time carer of another person
- anyone with a long-term condition including diabetes, asthma, kidney disease, 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.
Where to get the flu jab
You can have your NHS flu jab at:
- your GP surgery
- a local pharmacy offering the service
- your midwifery service if they offer it for pregnant women
Some community pharmacies now offer flu vaccination to adults (but not children) at risk of flu including pregnant women, people aged 65 and over, people with long-term health conditions and carers.
You can pledge to join the fight against flu on Twitter @GMMH_NHS or Facebook: facebook.com/GMMentalHealth and share your stories.
More information on the flu fighter campaign is available on the NHS Employers website:
www.nhsemployers.org/flu and you can join in the conversation on Twitter @NHSFlufighter or search for #flufighter or @NHSFlufighter.