Bosses at a local specialist NHS trust have had their flu jabs and are encouraging the Trust’s 2300 staff to have theirs.
South West Yorkshire Partnership NHS Foundation Trust is the local provider of specialist NHS mental health and learning disability services in Calderdale, Kirklees and Wakefield. 98% of the Trust’s contact with people who use services is in the local community. The Trust is encouraging staff to get the flu jab so they can continue to provide the vital services and protect all those they come in contact with.
Staff can have their flu vaccination at a number of specially arranged clinics across the Trust. Directors at the Trust were among the first staff to have theirs at a clinic on Thursday afternoon.
Trust staff are encouraged to have the vaccination to ensure they cannot get flu and pass it on to people they care for. The NHS as a whole encourages frontline staff to get vaccinated – not only to reduce the risk of flu being passed on to service users but also to ensure services can continue to run smoothly and efficiently throughout the winter months.
The swine flu vaccine is now contained within the seasonal flu vaccination. Every year the most likely viruses that will cause flu are identified in advance and vaccines are then produced that closely match them.
Alan Davies, director of human resources and workforce development at the Trust said, "I am very pleased that I was able to get my flu jab as I know that I have not only protected myself but also the other people that I come into contact with both at work and socially. I very much hope that frontline NHS staff will get the vaccination and would urge them to do so. Trust staff provide vital services to our local communities. It is essential that all frontline staff get themselves vaccinated against flu – to not only protect themselves and their families but also to protect the people they work with."
Research shows that the best way to avoid flu is to get immunised, but in addition, people can protect themselves by practising good hand hygiene with the ‘catch it, bin it, kill it’ technique. This means carrying tissues, covering coughs and sneezes with a tissue, disposing of the tissue after one use, and cleaning hands as soon as possible with soap and water or an alcohol hand gel.
Local people who are 65 and over as well as those with long-term conditions such as heart disease, diabetes, asthma, multiple sclerosis, serious kidney and liver disease are encouraged to get vaccinated. This year, for the first time, all pregnant women are also being offered the seasonal flu vaccination. The Trust encourages local people to speak to their GP or other health professional about the vaccination.