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Musgrove Park Hospital joins national Flu Fighter campaign - 03 November 2014

Musgrove Park Hospital joins national Flu Fighter campaign - 03 November 2014

Taunton’s Musgrove Park Hospital has joined the NHS flu fighter staff vaccination campaign, which supports health care trusts in England to help them improve staff flu vaccination uptake.

Every year influenza vaccinations are offered to NHS staff as a way to reduce the risk of staff and patients contracting and spreading the highly transmissible disease, which is largely preventable through vaccination.

Vaccinations are entirely voluntary, which is why Musgrove Park Hospital is encouraging all staff to protect themselves, patients they may come into contact with, and their families this winter by becoming a flu fighter and getting their flu jab.

Musgrove Park Hospital’s Director of Nursing and Governance, Carol Dight said: “Last winter we saw low levels of circulating flu, but we must not be complacent. There were estimated to be 11,000 deaths attributable to flu in the 2012/13 flu season, the highest since 2008/09.  We also know that you can carry the virus and have no symptoms yourself, but pass the virus on to others, which is why we want our staff to have the vaccination to protect our patients, themselves and their families. 

“This year, we have trained 33 peer vaccinators from across our hospital, who are easily recognisable by their ‘I’m a flu fighter badge’. Peer vaccinators are a huge benefit to the hospital this year, as they are able to provide staff with a flu vaccination in their workplace, so they don’t need to leave their workplace to attend a clinic.”

So far Musgrove Park Hospital has vaccinated over 1,269 members of staff with numbers increasing daily. The hospital is delighted to be on track to meet their target.

The Department of Health recommends that all one million health care workers directly involved in patient care be vaccinated annually. It is also encouraged by the General Medical Council and the British Medical Association.

The NHS is also offering free flu vaccinations to medically eligible patients via their local GP surgery, those included are:

  • pregnant women
  • anyone with a long-term condition including diabetes, asthma, kidney disease or heart or chest problems
  • people undergoing medical treatment who may have a compromised immune system
  • people with a neurological condition such as multiple sclerosis (MS) or cerebral palsy
  • everyone over the age of 65.

NHS staff can pledge to join the fight against flu on Facebook and share their stories.

Everyone can join in the conversation on Twitter using #flufighter.

More information is available on the flu fighter campaign website, at:www.nhsemployers.org/flu and you can find out more information on NHS Choices, at: http://www.nhs.uk/conditions/vaccinations/pages/flu-influenza-vaccine.aspx