South West Yorkshire Partnership NHS Foundation Trust has joined the largest ever NHS staff vaccination campaign.
The Trust aims to reduce the spread of flu this year by vaccinating as many frontline staff as possible. It is joining the Public Health England flu fighter campaign, which supports NHS organisations to help improve staff flu vaccination uptake.
New to the campaign this year, the occupational health team have launched a peer to peer vaccinator scheme. This involves training clinical members of staff to administer the flu vaccination to colleagues.
The peer to peer vaccinators play a vital role in minimising the impact of the potentially fatal flu virus by making sure as many colleagues as possible have easy, convenient access to flu jabs in all areas of the Trust.
Flu can be passed easily between people and in some cases can lead to serious illnesses. Patients in a hospital environment are more susceptible to the effects of the virus and last year flu was responsible for more than a hundred deaths in the UK and affected thousands more.
In addition to the peer to peer scheme, The Trust is also running a number drop-in clinics for staff at a range of times and locations to suit them.
Chief executive at the Trust, Steven Michael OBE is personally backing the campaign: “We take patient safety very seriously and we are working hard to encourage all of our frontline staff to get vaccinated.
“Flu targets people who are weakened and vulnerable, so it’s crucial that we do everything we can to keep the virus away from patients. By vaccinating staff we help to not only protect ourselves but our patients, our friends and families.”
Helen Whitelam, head of occupational health and wellbeing said, “We are excited about the introduction of the peer to peer scheme, and hope to see an increase in the number of staff who get vaccinated. Peer to peer vaccinators are ideally placed to improve the accessibility of the flu vaccine for all staff, especially those who find it difficult to attend the drop in clinics.
“Our employees can be vaccinated by someone they know and trust, in an environment they feel comfortable in. The peer vaccinators are also a great tool to dispel myths about the jab, which make staff reluctant to get vaccinated.”
You can keep up to date with the Trust’s flu fighting campaign by following @allofusinmind on Twitter or liking their Facebook page.