Health staff are being reminded to get vaccinated against flu to cut the risk of it spreading to patients and colleagues this winter.
Frontline healthcare workers are more likely to be exposed to the influenza virus, particularly during winter months when some of the people in their care will be infected. It has been estimated that up to 1 in 4 healthcare workers may become infected with influenza during a mild influenza season, a much higher incidence than expected in the general population
Director of Nursing Viv Bennett says:
“Flu can kill, so in leading by example, and recognising the importance of having the flu vaccine yourself, you will help reinforce the benefits of immunisation and reassure people that it is safe and effective.”
The NHS already faces challenges around maintaining its workforce during times of increased sickness, so it is vital to reduce the impact of flu to protect patient care. Being vaccinated is the only way to almost eliminate the risk of flu spreading from staff to colleagues, patients and families.
Letters to NHS staff include supporting evidence on the importance of the influenza vaccine.
The NHS Employers organisation is coordinating the NHS flu fighter campaign in partnership with the Department of Health, professional bodies and trade unions.
Join the conversation on twitter @NHSflufighter