Regional director of the Royal College of Nursing, Glenn Turp, took advantage of having a flu vaccination when he visited The James Cook University Hospital in Middlesbrough, and encourages all nursing staff to do the same.
Occupational health nurses have already started vaccinating front-line healthcare workers and their support staff in South Tees Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust. The vaccination will also be given by trained vaccinators at ward or department level, in central staff areas and in community settings with flu clinics.
Occupational health manager at South Tees, Pam McCourt, said: “We hope staff will take the opportunity to be vaccinated early in the campaign. One has to remember it takes 10 to 14 days to develop your body’s immunity to flu so we are asking our staff not to leave it to chance.”
Director of nursing and quality assurance for the trust, Ruth Holt added: “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 they protecting themselves but also their families, their patients and the NHS services they provide.”
Mr Turp, who has been the northern regional director for the RCN for the past ten years, was visiting Ruth Holt when the opportunity arose for him to led by example and have his vaccination.
Glenn Turp said “I am very pleased to be supporting South Tees Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust in their current drive to protect staff and patients from the winter flu virus. Every winter, the NHS sees a significant seasonal increase in pressure on its services. It is absolutely vital that, during this busy period, our front-line staff remain fit and well, so that they can continue to serve their patients. The RCN is calling on all clinical professionals to take up this year’s flu vaccine to help protect patients, their families, colleagues and, of course, themselves.
“Each year a seasonal vaccine is developed to provide recipients with protection against the particular strains of flu most likely to affect the UK. Having the vaccine means nurses and other clinical professionals are less likely to develop or carry flu over the winter, and this protects both themselves and the patients they serve.
“Some patients are obviously particularly vulnerable to serious complications if they catch the flu virus, so this programme is a particularly important part of protecting and serving our patients and local community”.