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Many more nurses getting flu jab this year


Flu vaccinations are being taken by many more NHS nurses this winter, new government figures suggest.

A record percentage of NHS employees are taking the jab - at a level nearly a fifth (19%) higher than last year.

It is a substantial contribution to the NHS’s 2013-14 winter strategy, helping keep staff healthy and safeguard susceptible patients.

NHS Employers, which organises the yearly national NHS flu fighter scheme, has attributed the statistics to excellent engagement between staff and managers.

They are collectively running creative local projects over the country.

The new numbers from Public Health England find that nearly half its frontline staff (453,013 or 48.6%) were vaccinated against flu between September 1 and November 30.

This is a 19% greater percentage than the 412,599 employees (40.8%) vaccinated in the corresponding timespan last year.

It already surpasses the overall total at the end of 2012-13, when 45.6% were vaccinated, compared with the 2013-14 running total of 48.6%.

Eight NHS trusts have already hit at least three-quarters, while 57 NHS trusts have reached 60% or over and 151 trusts (out of all 272) have already beaten their final totals from 2012-13.

Head of health at UNISON and staff side chair, Christina McAnea, said her union is backing the flu vaccines.

She said the increase in take-up is proof that employees want to stay healthy to provide care for patients at a peak time for demands on the NHS.

She added: “This campaign is successful and it’s about managers, staff and their trade unions working closely together.”

Flu vaccinations are a cheap and life-saving way to safeguard workers, their families and their patients.

The flu season was mild in 2012-13.

But the amount of patients with flu who needed intensive treatment still rose, with 107 of those patients (11.3%) in the UK dying from it.


Readers' comments (13)

  • Research results that are not published are now strongly suggesting the efficacy of the 'flu jab' is not substantiated - big pharma at it again!

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  • nurses need to rely on their own knowledge and gut feelings and not let themselves be swayed by the masses.

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  • Anonymous | 4-Jan-2014 0:14 am

    Re: Flu vaccination efficacy. Could you post some links of the evidence to back up your assertions? Ta

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  • Before the ritual abuse of the research world begins again, I feel I must draw attention to some very important and worthwhile recent research published in the BMJ:

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  • tinkerbell

    The survival time of chocolates on hospital wards: covert observational study

    Yes we must retain some perspective, this is an issue that has fascinated peoples donkeys for years.

    I would ask though that they further research why the chocolate munchers feel a need to put empty wrappers back into the chocolate tin so I am left rummaging around a box of empty wrappers.

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  • tinkerbell | 8-Jan-2014 11:44 am

    "I would ask though that they further research why the chocolate munchers feel a need to put empty wrappers back into the chocolate tin so I am left rummaging around a box of empty wrappers."

    They do it to torment you, Tink!

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  • tinkerbell

    They can't torment me anymore with their fiendish game of empty wrappers, since leaving the wards, in the community we have upgraded to Guylian Belgian chocolates. When I arrived after Christmas there were still 3 left in the box. It was 0900hrs and I hovered over them with intent, assessed the difficulty level of getting away with eating all 3 without being noticed, no one else was displaying any interest but not wanting to appear selfish (or get caught red handed) I asked 'does anyone else want a chocolate'? They declined, one saying 'it's a bit too early for me' as one might reply to an alcoholic, so I ate them all. Yum,yum. No not really I left one, a difficult decision given the staff/chocolate ratio.

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  • Tinkerbell

    aren't they for toffs?

    like the two Frenchmen at an important business meeting with a plate of cake. For the sake of clarity lets say M. Dupont and M. Poirot (for want of better names).

    M. Dupont passes the plate of cake to M. Poirot who, out of politeness says, please Monsieur, after you. Mr Dupont insists that M. Poirot help himself first and so to cut a very long story short the plate and the polite exchanges go back and fore in this manner for some time until M. Poirot eventually thinks there is a need for closure and takes a slice upon which M. Dupont looks at him with an expression of a mixture of amazement, greed, disgust and remorse on his face and says, Monsieur, you have taken the largest piece! To which M. Poirot replies, licking his chops with glee, mais oui, Monsieur, I knew out of politesse that you would take the smallest piece!

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  • tinkerbell

    Anonymous | 8-Jan-2014 4:19 pm

    Guess I am now moving in 'toff' circles then but they were only £5 a box at Asda thus keeping us riff raff toffs out of Waitrose.

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  • Loved the chocolate stories!

    But re. Flu vaccine:

    We've no business as professionals to be putting our vulnerable patients at risk by exposing them to our infections. This includes D&V, colds and flu as well as whatever we're carrying on dirty hands, dangly hair, unwashed clothes. We have a duty of care.

    This means proper hygiene and prompt flu vaccine. Anything less than due care to protect patients is unprofessional and a failure of our duty of care. No amount of quack medicine or 'pharma phobia' alters this hard fact.

    PS I don't, won't and never have worked for a drug company, OK?

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