latest health care news

23.12.13

‘Partnership effort’ leads to record flu vaccinations for staff

A record number of NHS staff have been vaccinated against flu, new figures from Public Health England (PHE) show.

In September to November 2013, a total of 453,013 frontline staff were vaccinated. This is 40,414, or 19%, higher than the previous year.

Greater awareness and collaboration with different organisations led to the increase, NHS Employers said.

Chief executive Dean Royles said: “There has been a lot of focus on winter planning and the NHS is vaccinating 5,000 frontline staff a day. These year-on-year increases result from the commitment of staff and their managers to find time in our busiest period to get vaccinated. But they know it’s worth it to avoid getting sick – especially when they’re in contact with vulnerable patients.

“I wish more people had the chance to see the amazing work that staff and managers are doing together to drive up vaccination levels. Despite all the changes in the NHS this year, there’s a huge energy on this issue.

“This is a real partnership effort and it's fantastic to see the support of trade unions continuing to champion the importance of vaccination. There has been some incredible creativity in engaging staff and the effective use of social media to drive change. People want to see innovation in the NHS and they can see it in the flu fighter campaign, in droves.”

Christina McAnea, head of health at Unison, said: “Unison and the other health trade unions are very happy to support this campaign and encourage NHS staff to sign up for the flu vaccination and indeed to become flu fighter champions.

“This has been a tough year for staff in the NHS, with many difficult challenges, yet their commitment to patients is higher than ever.

“The rise in take-up of the flu vaccine is evidence that staff want to remain healthy to provide care for patients at a time when demands on the NHS are at their highest. This campaign is successful and it’s about managers, staff and their trade unions working closely together.”

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