This month marks the start of Sherwood Forest Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust’s staff flu vaccination campaign. Staff caring directly for patients will be offered immunisation first.
Led by the Trust’s Occupational Health team, the programme will see thousands of staff being offered the vaccine in the weeks ahead, enabling them to continue providing the vital services and help protect all those they come in contact with.
The NHS as a whole encourages all staff to get vaccinated - not only to reduce the risk of flu being passed on to service users but also to ensure services can continue to run smoothly and efficiently throughout the winter months
Karen Fisher, Executive Director of Human Resources for the Trust said: “We had a fantastic response to the vaccination programme last year, with a huge number of staff taking the opportunity to get protection from developing flu.
“As a Trust we have a duty to protect our patients and we will ensure all of our staff who have a direct role in caring for patients are offered the vaccination first. Protecting our staff will also help our workforce to remain resilient and able to treat sick patients”.
Mychelle Ward, Senior Nurse in Genitourinary Medicine at the Trust, is keen to be immunised again this year: “My main reason for having the vaccine is to protect myself, patients, colleagues and also my family” she explained.
Research shows that the best way to avoid flu is to get immunised, but in addition, people can protect themselves by practising good hand hygiene with the ‘catch it, bin it, kill it’ technique. This means carrying tissues, covering coughs and sneezes with a tissue, disposing of the tissue after one use, and cleaning hands as soon as possible with soap and water or an alcohol hand gel.
Local people who are 65 and over as well as those with long-term conditions such as heart disease, diabetes, asthma, multiple sclerosis, serious kidney and liver disease, and pregnant women are encouraged to get vaccinated. The Trust is encouraging local people to speak to their GP or other health professional about the vaccination.