A trust has more than quadrupled the proportion of nurses given the seasonal flu jab this winter compared to last year – bucking national trends.
Almost two-thirds of qualified nurses, 59%, working at Hull and East Yorkshire Hospitals Trust received the vaccination this winter, compared to just 14% the previous year.
Nurses and other frontline staff at the trust were given the jab at special clinics set up outside their canteens, extra staff were trained to vaccinate colleagues, and the Hospital at Night team provided vaccinations to staff working out-of-hours.
The trust’s head of occupational health services Carole Hunter said the vaccination drive meant nurses could have the flu jab almost whenever and wherever they wanted – though she also noted an increase in the number of seriously ill flu patients treated at the trust may also have encouraged uptake.
She said: “We were pretty much 24/7 with the vaccinations. As well as the static clinics we had occupational health nurses walking our sites to provide the vaccination.”
Ms Hunter said planning for the vaccination programme began as early as June and this year it intended to begin even earlier to try and increase uptake still further.
Latest Department of Health figures show 26% of frontline NHS staff received the seasonal vaccine this winter, sparking DH head of immunisation Professor David Salisbury to call for a culture change among healthcare staff towards vaccination.
The most recent figures giving a breakdown of uptake by profession are for last year and show nationally, 22% of nurses received the vaccine last winter and 13.5% the year before.
Follow @Aseatontheboard on twitter follow for all the latest campaign news! Sign now and ensure nurses have a seat on consortia boards.