On the case:Flu fighter Wednesday blog

On the case red bug

03 / 12 / 2014 9.30am

Mention the words ‘flu clinics’ to any staff health and wellbeing nurse and you run the risk of them running for cover - or at the very least, avoiding you for ever more. Not here at Southport and Ormskirk NHS (S+O) Trust though, we say bring it on!

The staff health and wellbeing centre (HWB) undertook a service redesign last year. A new, (dynamic of course) team of nurses, from both industry and other NHS trusts, came together to help support the staff working at S+O integrated community care organisation to provide a unique and top class service. The department was officially opened in September 2014 by Dame Carol Black after successful Safe Effective Quality Occupational Heath Service accreditation within six months. Like I said, dynamic.

Currently 80 per cent of frontline staff have been vaccinated, beating our personal trajectory and we are not finished yet. For a trust with 68 per cent of staff being classed as frontline, two acute hospitals and over 25 community based sites, this requires lots of planning. This is a great achievement for everyone at S+O Trust who have been 100 per cent committed to the campaign.

So, how did we do it? As a new team it was obvious that we needed to get some key people involved (i.e. we needed friends). So, the first thing we did was to trawl the who’s who of S+O Trust for some influential and (fingers crossed) helpful candidates to join our newly formed flu committee. Once this was established, comprising members from communications, staff side, infection control, matrons, community teams, HR, finance, facilities, pharmacy and other key personnel, we planned our flu attack.

One of the obstacles we had as a new team was we did not really know the geographical lay out of the hospital sites. So, armed with a plan of the sites we went exploring. This was great it helped us to find areas not covered on the plans, such as where staff take their breaks. It was also an opportunity to introduce ourselves to staff and ask if they had any ideas on promoting the flu vaccination.

One absolutely major part of our campaign is the walkabouts. Clinical staff are often far too busy to attend sessions, so we go to them instead. Our campaign is split into phases of two weeks. Phase one is focused solely on dropping into the acute areas – intensive care unit, AED, maternity, etc. Phase two is about capturing all of the shift patterns and visiting a variety of different places within the acute and community sites as both walkabouts and drop in sessions. Towards the end of each phase, we evaluate where we are so that we can target areas which need more input.

Information about the flu campaign is relayed to staff via the communications team and we also hold poster drops (insert mission impossible theme tune here!) where one lucky member of the HWB staff gets to drop into all of the areas and beg them to put up a clinic timetable poster somewhere prominent.

Armed with our flu trolleys (a converted medicine trolley and a converted domestics trolley) we are often seen hovering around receptions at shift finishing times, outside mandatory and clinical training sessions, even outside the restaurants - there is nowhere to hide!

We do have some support from staff vaccinators, unfortunately this is not as successful as we hoped despite developing in-house vaccinator updates. Our core of five staff vaccinators do help out a great deal though and they are very much appreciated.

Incentives such as prize draws don’t really get people excited, however, free pens? Now we’re getting somewhere!

Last year, we experienced problems with delays in delivery of vaccines, so in January this year we thought smart - we split our order, half from one company and half from another. Fortunately both were on time this year.

So, another successful year. No time to stop though, our evaluation flu committee meeting is in two weeks and we’ll be expected to discuss when flu season 2015/6 is to be held.

And once again, we’ll be saying bring it on!

Jane Williams is a Health and WellBeing Adviser at Southport and Ormskirk NHS Trust.



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