Frontline health and care workers from across Herefordshire are joining the fight against seasonal flu by making sure they are immunised against the virus to help protect patients and service users.
They have also joined forces this year to urge at risk groups in the county’s communities to make sure they have their seasonal flu vaccine.
Flu can have very serious consequences for people with long term health conditions, the elderly and pregnant women – each winter hundreds of thousands of people across the country see their GP and tens of thousands are hospitalised because of influenza (flu), which could be prevented by having the flu vaccine once a year.
The vaccination campaign kicked off with mass vaccinations of staff at Hereford County Hospital - front line staff lined up to have their flu vaccination as they turned up for work. This included nurses, doctors, and community health workers. The vaccinations are also being offered at drop in clinics and on hospital wards.
So far nearly 2,000 Wye Valley NHS Trust staff have been vaccinated – around 50 per cent of the workforce.
Staff at NHS Herefordshire Clinical Commissioning Group, 2gether NHS Foundation Trust, Herefordshire Council, and GP practices across the county have also been rolling up their sleeves to receive the flu vaccination.
A total of around 3,000 NHS and social care staff will be receiving their seasonal flu vaccinations in the next couple of weeks.
Jon Barnes, Chief Operating Officer at Wye Valley NHT Trust, said: “We’re delighted that this early in the campaign many of our staff, including doctors, nurses, midwives, physiotherapists, and community staff, have had their flu vaccine.
“It’s our responsibility to protect our patients as healthcare providers. It is therefore vital that as many of our staff members as possible gets vaccinated and supports this year’s local flu vaccination campaign. If we reduce the chances of staff contracting flu, we can really drive down the possibility of passing it on to our patients”.
Dr Ian Tait, GP and Chair for the Herefordshire Clinical Commissioning Group (HCCG), said:
"As a GP I offer every opportunity for people to protect themselves and their families. Flu Immunisation is something I strongly support and would urge everyone from the suggested groups to take advantage. This is particularly important for children, older people and pregnant women. Personally, I always have the Flu jab to protect myself and my patients, colleagues and family.
“I would urge all health and care frontline workers across Herefordshire, including hospital, ambulance, social care, and mental health service staff, to make sure they are vaccinated to protect themselves and reduce the risk of passing on the illness to their patients and their families”.
All GP practices in the county are running flu clinics for their registered patients either as drop-in or by appointment. Flu jabs are also available at many local pharmacies.
Please contact your local GP practice to enquire about getting the flu jab. You are eligible to receive a free flu jab if you:
- are 65 years of age or over
- are pregnant
- have certain long-term medical conditions (such as heart or respiratory disease), or a weakened immune system
- are very overweight - anyone with a body mass index (BMI) over 40
- are living in a long-stay residential care home or other long-stay care facility
- receive a carer's allowance, or you are the main carer for an elderly or disabled person whose welfare may be at risk if you fall ill
- are a healthcare worker with direct patient contact, or a social care worker
- children aged two or three (vaccination offered as a nasal spray)
Notes to Editors WVT:
- Wye Valley NHS Trust is a provider of health services across Herefordshire and beyond. The Trust exists to improve the wellbeing, independence and health of the people we serve.
- By working closely with our partners, we can make good our promise to deliver a quality of care we would want for ourselves, our families and our friends.
- With an estimated annual turnover of around £180 million, we employ around 3,000 staff. We aim to build new relationships between our staff, patients, service users and their carers with the wider community.
For further information please contact:
John Burnett, Communication and Engagement Manager, Wye Valley NHS Trust: 01432 372928 or Amanda Millichip, Communications Officer 01432 355444 ext. 5105.