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Tees trust urges staff to have flu jab with patient guilt trip tactics


A hospital trust has launched a hard-hitting campaign to encourage nurses and others to get the flu jab featuring posters of frail and ill patients exhorting staff to get vaccinated.

The images, which include an 83-year-old man in a hospital bed and an ultrasound scan of an unborn baby, come with the slogan: “I already have one fight on my hands, I’m relying on YOU to fight the flu.”

“It’s vital that our staff, from doctors and nurses to ward clerks and cooks have the vaccine”

Elaine Mockler

South Tees Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust hopes the campaign will boost take-up of the free flu jab among nurses, doctors and support staff.

Last year, three quarters of the trust’s workforce got the flu vaccine between October 2015 and February 2016, putting it among the best-performing trusts.

However, this year – with the help of the powerful poster campaign – managers hope to achieve at least 75% coverage before the end of December.

The campaign comes amid ongoing national efforts to get more frontline staff to get vaccinated.

Figures published by Public Health England show just over half had the flu jab last winter, which was slightly down on the previous year.

Other patients featured in South Tees’ campaign include Karen Tabassum, who has blood clots on her lungs and is pictured wearing an oxygen mask.

The trust said the message was that getting vaccinated could save lives.


“It’s vital that our staff, from doctors and nurses to ward clerks and cooks have the vaccine, not just for their own health but for the health of all our patients and their own family’s health too,” said Elaine Mockler, occupational health service manager at the trust.

“Put simply, flu can be deadly and the vaccine protects against the most-deadly strains of the virus,” she said. “That’s why we have chosen to combine some really powerful images of real-life patients with the message ‘Protect Me. Protect You. Protect everyone from flu” this year.”

She said the goal of getting three quarters of staff vaccinated by the end of the year was significant, because it would help build up vital “herd immunity”.

The trust is also encouraging staff to use the social media site Twitter to share photos over the next couple of months to show they have been vaccinated using the hashtags #flutober and #yesvember

  • See attached PDFs below in Related Files for examples of the trust’s campaign posters


Will you be getting the flu vaccination this winter?

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Related files

Readers' comments (5)

  • I used to have the flu jab every year until they added the N1N bit to it, I suffered with chest problems ever since.

    It amazes me how many folk allow the NHS to stick stuff into our systems without really knowing what it contains?

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  • I agree it's personal preference and I wouldn't be bullied into having any vaccination I didn't want.

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  • Anonymous @3.47pm

    The ingredients of vaccines, like any pharmaceutical product, are easily found.

    If "folk allow the NHS to stick stuff into our systems without really knowing what it contains" you either haven't looked it up or haven't asked.

    Personally I found that I was more at risk from patients than they ever were from me: parents bringing flu-ridden kids in for appointments, or not telling me on home visits that Little Johnny was full of flu. Thanks folks!

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  • Phil Dup

    I'd like the NHS to protect my health from all the ignorant idiots who sit coughing all over me without even covering their damned basic manners

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  • As health care professionals we are not allowed to use this sort of tactic upon patients. In response to basket press, I agree we are more at risk form patients and their carers/relatives - whatever is in vogue currently. Also colleagues are afraid to remain absent due to the resultant consequences upon their return. It's a personal choice and no one should be made to feel guilty about that. As for powerful images and messages, it's scaremongering and bullying. I have had the flu jab every year, but have colleagues that despite having the flu jab have had the flu and are choosing to opt out this year and I support their decision.

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