Thousands of staff at Pennine Acute Trust get their flu jab to help protect patients

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Thousands of staff at Pennine Acute Trust get their flu jab to help protect patients
03 December 2014

Staff and volunteers working at hospitals and community services run by The Pennine Acute Hospitals NHS Trust have been queuing up to get their flu jab and do their bit to help protect patients and themselves from getting winter flu.

The Trust’s annual staff seasonal flu vaccination programme was launched on 29th September 2014 and so far over 4,000 staff have been vaccinated. This includes front-line clinical and non-clinical staff, support staff, receptionists, managers, catering staff, clerical staff and Trust volunteers.

The Trust's Chief Executive, Deputy Medical Director, and Mandie Sunderland, Chief Nurse for The Pennine Acute Trust (pictured), are helping lead the campaign by encouraging all staff, particularly the Trust’s doctors, nursing staff and other healthcare professionals, to receive the winter flu vaccination.

She said: “All staff, clinical and non-clinical, and our volunteers are encouraged to have their free seasonal flu vaccination as part of our collective responsibility to provide safe patient care.

“We have an important role to play in ensuring our patients, particularly those who are vulnerable and those classed as high risk, are protected. We want to do all we can to prevent a serious flu outbreak at our hospitals and in the local community.

“In the lead up to winter it is particularly important to make sure as health professionals and NHS staff we are taking care of our own health so we are able to provide the best care to our patients, during our busiest season and to avoid staff sickness and placing more pressure on our services.”

This year the Trust is expecting a particularly good response and take up from staff to have their flu jab within key clinical areas – this includes the emergency care departments and Urgent Care Centre, critical care, theatres, maternity, outpatient departments and Allied Health Professionals.

Each winter hundreds of thousands of people see their GP and tens of thousands are hospitalised because of flu. Last winter, Public Health England (PHE) received reports of 904 people admitted to intensive care or high dependency units with laboratory confirmed flu and 98 deaths.

Dr Richard Pebody, head of seasonal flu surveillance at PHE, said:

“People with certain long-term health conditions are at much greater risk of becoming seriously unwell if they catch flu and sadly, many end up in hospital.

“It’s not too late to get vaccinated, and we urge anyone who is eligible but hasn’t yet received their free flu vaccination to contact their GP.”
Since 2013, two and three-year-olds have been eligible for flu vaccination with a newly available nasal spray, and this year the spray is also being offered to four-year-olds.

For further information about the flu vaccination, including who should have it, visit www.nhs.uk/conditions/flu/pages/introduction.aspx

Pictured: Dr Anton Sinniah, deputy medical director, and Mandie Sunderland, chief nurse both at The Pennine Acute Hospitals NHS Trust