Published on Monday 28 November 2016
As the cold weather kicks in, staff at Wirral University Teaching Hospital have been leading the way in the fight against flu by making sure that they have had their flu jab.
According to NHS England, around 8,000 deaths a year in England are attributable to flu. Flu can affect anyone, no matter how healthy they are and the vaccine is the best way to fight it.
Since launching its Flu Fighter campaign seven weeks ago, over three quarters of Wirral’s biggest employer has had the flu jab in a bid to protect themselves, their families, their patients and hospital visitors.
Director of Workforce, James Mawrey, was one of the first volunteers to be vaccinated. He explained:
“Our staff are leading the way in our Flu Fighter campaign and I am extremely proud that we have already achieved our target of vaccinating 75% of our workforce within record time.
“It’s reassuring to know that the vast majority of our 5,500 workforce has some protection from flu. This not only reduces the risks of our employees becoming ill but importantly, helps to prevent flu from spreading amongst the patients they care for. Flu can severely impact on existing conditions, so getting as many staff as possible vaccinated has been a top priority.
“Our target may have been hit in record time, but we will continue to encourage even more employees to get their flu jab over the coming weeks.”
As the Trust prepares for a very busy winter, they are reminding members of the public just how easily flu can spread in the community and are urging them to protect themselves and their loved ones.
The flu vaccine cannot give you flu and having been well tested it has an excellent safety record. Even people not in the ‘at risk’ group can still catch flu and can pass it on to vulnerable groups, even with no symptoms.
Flu symptoms can include fever, chills and aching muscles and can be very distressing, particularly for young children. Children aged two to four years and children of school year 1 and 2, pregnant women, people aged 65 years and over and those with a long-term health condition are eligible for the free flu vaccination. For children aged two to four years and children of school year 1 and 2 the vaccination is available as a nasal spray, with no need for an injection.
For those unsure of whether they are eligible for a free flu vaccination on the NHS, they can speak to their local pharmacist or GP. It is important to stay well this winter, so whether it is the jab or the painless nasal spray, people are urged to get vaccinated to help protect themselves and loved ones against the flu virus.
Pictured above: Nurses Ros Sullivan and Linchu John are just two of the many hospital staff to have had their flu jab in preparation for winter.
Pictured below: Our colleagues working in Pharmacy at Arrowe Park Hospital show their support to the 2016 Flu Fighter campaign.