Staff at South Tees have made a determined effort to reduce the risk of passing on the flu virus to their patients as almost three quarters of all staff employed by the trust have had a flu vaccination.
South Tees joined the fight against flu this winter by encouraging all staff to be vaccinated. While frontline health workers have been given priority, everyone at the trust – including volunteers and students – have been encouraged to have the flu vaccine to ensure they are protected before the winter season.
Occupational health nurses have been, and are continuing to, vaccinate frontline healthcare workers and their support staff and clinics have also been at ward and department level, in central staff areas and in community settings with flu clinics.
Pam McCourt, occupational health manager said: “While we are happy at the uptake rate, we hope more staff will take the opportunity to be vaccinated as it takes 10 to 14 days to develop your body’s immunity to flu.”
Chief executive, Professor Tricia Hart, said: “As an organisation we do have a duty to ensure all of our staff and volunteers, who have a direct role in caring for patients, are offered this vaccination.
“By getting it, not only are you protecting yourself but also your families, your patients and the NHS services you provide.”
The vaccine does not carry any ‘live’ virus, which means it cannot give you the flu and while some people may experience mild fever up to 48 hours after having the jab as their immune system responds to the vaccine, this is not flu.
Last year we achieved 74.6% against a target of 75% and we continue to achieve improved uptake year on year at the trust.
What is seasonal flu?
1. Seasonal flu is a highly infectious and very common viral illness
2. It is spread through coughs and sneezes
3. Symptoms can make you feel so exhausted and unwell you cannot get out of bed
4. You can pass on the virus a day before and up to six days after the symptoms start
5. 15 to 20% of the population contract flu every year
6. You can carry and pass on the virus without noticing the symptoms yourself