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Hospital staff urged to get flu jab

Posted onPosted on 27th Oct
Hospital staff urged to get flu jab

Staff at Sherwood Forest Hospitals have been rolling up their sleeves for a flu jab in a bid to arm themselves against catching and spreading the illness this winter.

The Trust has been actively encouraging all staff to be vaccinated. People working in a healthcare environment are more likely to be exposed to the flu virus, particularly during the winter months.

In just the first two weeks of this year’s staff flu vaccination campaign, more than 1,650 doctors, nurses and healthcare workers at King’s Mill, Newark and Mansfield Community hospitals have taken the opportunity to protect themselves, their patients, their colleagues and their families from the virus.

Leading by example and joining in the fight against flu are Trust Chief Executive Paul O’Connor and Chairman Sean Lyons who were both vaccinated on 21 October.

Paul O’Connor said: “People working in hospitals are much more likely to be exposed to the flu virus and, although it is not compulsory, we are encouraging staff to take the opportunity to get themselves immunised. Vaccinating staff also forms an important part of the Trust’s preparations for winter, helping to ensure staffing levels remain high at a time when pressures on hospital services and emergency care are known to increase.”

Sean Lyons added: “Flu is a highly contagious infection that anyone can catch and for some people, especially the elderly, vulnerable patients in hospital and for those in ‘at risk’ groups, it can be very serious. A comprehensive flu vaccination campaign is essential for the Trust in order to eliminate the risk of flu spreading.”

Last year’s phenomenal response to the flu campaign saw 75.7% of staff who have patient contact being vaccinated – the national average was 55%. This also surpassed the ambitious Department of Health target of 75%. The figure was considerably up on other years, and Rebecca Garner, Senior Occupational Health Nurse and lead for the flu vaccination campaign said it was a credit to staff that they responded so well to the challenge.

“Our target for this year is to improve last year’s fantastic uptake, so our goal is to now immunise as many more staff as possible by making the vaccination easily available for staff day and night, at all times and locations. Staff are able to get their flu vaccination on wards or at a number of specially arranged clinics without disrupting their daily routines and appointments,” Rebecca added.

The Trust will continue to hold flu vaccine sessions for staff until the end of January 2014.