Final figures reveal that 85.8 per cent of Great Western Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust’s frontline staff had the flu vaccine this winter.
Healthcare workers who have the jab help to protect patients from flu, which can prove particularly dangerous to more vulnerable people, including pregnant women, the elderly and those with existing medical conditions. A total of 4,062 staff received the flu jab since October 2017, which means the Trust has smashed the national target of vaccinating 70 per cent of frontline staff. Teams at the hospital, as well as those in the community, made use of the numerous flu drop-in clinics happening across Swindon. Part of the success has also been attributed to the work of peer vaccinators - members of staff who have been specially trained to give the flu jab to their colleagues, making it easier for those who couldn’t leave their ward or department while on duty to get protected. Hilary Walker, Chief Nurse, said: “This is a fantastic achievement and I am proud that so many staff have had the jab. “The vaccine is the most effective treatment to protect against the flu virus and this year we have seen high numbers of patients at the Great Western Hospital due to the flu. “I congratulate the staff who are protecting not only themselves but also their patients and loved ones and feel confident that they will continue the good work in the next campaigns.” The Trust is hoping to build upon this good work ahead of the next flu vaccine campaign in winter 2018. Amanda Riggs, Occupational Health Nurse Specialist Advisor, said: “Twice the number of staff have had the vaccine this year compared to last, thanks to the efforts of the peer vaccinators and Occupational Health team.” Binny Upham, Safeguarding Midwife, was announced as the winner of this year’s raffle prize, into which every staff member who had the flu jab was entered. She won a hamper of toiletries, food and drink and other items to enjoy as part of the internal campaign to encourage staff to get the jab. Flu can spread easily in public places such as schools, restaurants and hospitals, so it is important to get vaccinated as early as possible to protect family and friends. More information about flu and the flu vaccine can be found on the NHS Choices website: http://www.nhs.uk/.