Doncaster and Bassetlaw Teaching Hospitals (DBTH) is the first acute trust in the country to vaccinate 75 per cent of their frontline staff against flu for the second year in a row.
The Trust, which runs three hospitals in the region as well as outpatient services at various community sites, has administered over 3,000 vaccines to staff directly involved in patient care and treatment in just five weeks.
This year’s flu campaign has been spearheaded by a dedicated team of vaccinators made up of Occupational Health and Wellbeing practitioners and supported by peer vaccinators in various roles, including Chief Executive, and registered nurse, Richard Parker, who personally administered the jab to a number of staff.
The team have worked tirelessly visiting wards and departments in order to give medics and clinicians easy access to the vaccine, while providing special drop-in sessions for weekend workers and night staff. This ‘all hands on deck’ model, which proved highly effective last year, has seen success again with the Trust hitting the target in record time, reaching the threshold a week ahead of 2016’s performance.
Richard Parker, Chief Executive at the DBTH, said: “This is another fantastic achievement for the Trust and one which shows how caring our staff are and how dedicated they are to protecting our patients. This will help us to reduce the impact of the flu virus both in our hospitals and in the communities we serve. It’s particularly important that we hit the target this year as we’re expecting a particularly bad flu season this winter. I want to say well done to the vaccination team for their tireless efforts, and to the 3,385 members of staff who’ve had their jabs.”
The Trust will continue to vaccinate its frontline workforce as well as offering the vaccine to non-frontline staff, to further reduce the risk of hospital patients contracting flu this winter. Visitors can also help in the fight against flu and other winter illnesses by not coming to the Trust to see relatives and friends in hospital if they have flu and cold symptoms such as fever, chills, headache, cough, body aches and fatigue.
Danny Mortimer, Chief Executive of NHS Employers, which runs the national flu fighter campaign, said: “This is a truly impressive achievement and shows real dedication to the flu fighter campaign. In order to stem the tide of infection, it’s especially important for frontline health and care workers to be vaccinated, as they will have the greatest contact with vulnerable people, such as the elderly and the very young. We hope other trusts will follow this stellar example before what many experts are predicting could be a very challenging winter.”
Flu can cause a range of illnesses from mild to severe, even among healthy people. People aged 65 and over, pregnant women, anyone with diabetes, chest or heart conditions and others in at-risk groups are advised to ask their GP about having the flu vaccine.