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North Cumbria University Hospitals NHS Trust - 70 years of the NHS

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Home > News > North Cumbria's hospital staff lead the way in the fight against flu this winter

North Cumbria's hospital staff lead the way in the fight against flu this winter

Posted on Friday 20th December 2013
occupational health nurses

Jaqui Roberts and Dawn Mahone, Occupational Health Nurses

Staff at the Cumberland Infirmary in Carlisle and West Cumberland Hospital in Whitehaven are protecting themselves, their families and their patients against flu this winter with the biggest uptake the Trust has ever seen.

North Cumbria University Hospitals NHS Trust currently has the highest staff uptake in the North East and Cumbria with nearly 75% of staff being vaccinated. The Trust is also ranking as fourth out of all trusts in England according to figures published by Public Health England.

The first official flu vaccination figures of the winter show that 75,000 more frontline NHS staff were vaccinated against flu in September and October 2013 compared to the same months last year.

The Trust has been actively encouraging all staff to be vaccinated as they have a crucial role to play in helping to ensure that everyone understands the importance of the vaccination programme.

Flu is a highly contagious infection that anyone can catch and for some people, especially the elderly, vulnerable patients in hospital and for those in ‘at risk’ groups, it can be very serious. A comprehensive flu vaccination campaign is crucial for the hospital trust in order to eliminate the risk of flu spreading.

Chris Platton, director of nursing at the Trust, said: “The uptake from our staff so far has been excellent with almost three quarters of our staff now vaccinated as we approach Christmas. Our Occupational Health nurses are working exceptionally hard to ensure they visit every ward and department with the vaccine and our staff have been very enthusiastic about our campaign.

“Our frontline staff working in our hospitals are much more likely to be exposed to the flu virus; therefore it’s our priority to make sure they are vaccinated, not only to protect themselves, but also to stop the virus spreading to our vulnerable patients.

“We are also asking all staff to lead the way in encouraging those patients ‘at risk’ to contact their GP practice as soon as possible to arrange their free flu jab. Those ‘at risk’ include people with asthma, diabetes, chronic conditions, pregnant women and people aged 65 or over.

“It is essential that they many unhelpful myths about the flu vaccine are dispelled because they deter people from being vaccinated. The vaccine is safe, has minimal or no side effects, can be used in pregnancy and is required every year. It is not too late to be vaccinated.”

For more information about flu, visit www.nhs.uk/flu