Nurses and other NHS staff who went “the extra mile” to encourage colleagues to have the flu jab this winter have been praised at an awards ceremony.
The Flu Fighter award winners were announced earlier this week, as latest figures show record levels of NHS staff being vaccinated against influenza.
At the end of January, 494,083 people – equivalent to 53% of all frontline NHS staff – had been vaccinated, which is an increase of 57,504 since last year. It is the first time uptake has passed 50%.
The annual Flu Fighter campaign, now in its third year, is organised by the NHS Employers organisation to promote immunisation among health service staff. It was started in response to vaccination rates that had remained stubbornly low since the immunisation programme began in 2001-02.
The awards ceremony, held in Leeds earlier this week, celebrated staff and hospitals whose innovative efforts had helped to drive up staff numbers having the vaccination.
A shortlist of 26 entries were judged by a panel including Nursing Times editor Jenni Middleton, NHS Leadership Academy head of engagement Helen Stevens, Unison head of nursing Gail Adams, and NHS Employers chief executive Dean Royles and Teresa Chinn, founder of #WeNurses.
The winners were:
- Flu fighter champion award – Tracy Lees, Sandwell and West Birmingham NHS Trust
- Most improved flu fighter campaign – Derby Hospitals NHS Trust
- Best flu fighter team – South Western Ambulance Service NHS Foundation Trust
- Innovative flu fighter campaign – London Ambulance Service NHS Trust
- #flufighter digital and social media award – Barnet and Chase Farm Hospitals NHS Trust
Mr Royles said: “The success of Flu Fighters is down to the many thousands of hard-working and dedicated staff and shows how colleagues can unite for such a great cause.
“All the winners – as well as the runners-up and every other team who have done so much this year to improve take up to record levels – should be very proud of what they’ve achieved.”
He added: “We would of course like to see staff having the flu vaccination as normal practice – like washing your hands to improve hygiene, has become. A number of people still have reservations so it’s important our campaign keeps up the momentum.”
See http://www.nhsemployers.org/HealthyWorkplaces/StaffFluVaccination/Pages/flu-fighter-awards-2014.aspx for all the nominations