10 / 12 / 2015 9.29am
We are continuing to follow Cheshire and Wirral Partnership NHS Foundations Trust's (CWP) progress throughout this season's flu and health and wellbeing campaigns. In the second in the series of blogs, we find out the flu team's progress with their campaign.
Blog two: the flu campaign is well underway!
Author: Karen Phillips, head of occupational health at CWP.
In the run up to the festive season, getting your jab can help to protect you and your loved ones, and prevent you from missing out on the quality time we look forward to all year. We've been working really hard over the past few months to spread the vital flu fighter messages, and get our trust vaccinated to protect family, colleagues, patients and our staff.
One of the best things about being a part of the flu fighter group and promoting the campaign has been meeting a variety of staff across the trust. Spreading the messages about the flu vaccination has enabled us to promote all of the wellbeing initiatives that our occupational health team offer and find out how people manage wellbeing as part of their work.
The feedback from staff so far has been really interesting, and has given us plenty of opportunity to do some mythbusting. One member of staff said ‘if my patients get the flu vaccine, then I don’t need to’. This gave us the opportunity to mention that the vaccine is 70-90 per cent effective, which can drop to as low as 30 per cent in the elderly, so it's important that everybody has the best protection possible to fight flu. It was helpful to read the NHS Employers flu FAQs when I’ve needed to communicate key messages.
We've been running a number of immunisation clinics across the trust for staff. In addition to these, we’ve promoted staff vouchers so staff can have a free flu jab at a local supermarket or pharmacy, at a time to suit them. We’ve seen supermarkets as a popular choice for our staff as there are plenty of local stores with late opening times. I tell them that they can always get their jab once they’ve filled their trolley with the weekly shop!
The team has worked hard to reinforce the message that getting a flu jab adds an extra level of protection against the flu, and will also avoid the virus being passing on to patients or taking it home to family and friends. On the whole, we’ve had some great feedback from staff who were pleased to take advantage of the free flu vouchers and book a slot in their own time.
We've started to see the hard work paying off in our uptake figures. We currently have a 1 per cent increase on last year’s total, with three months left of our campaign. To continue this momentum, we will carry on visiting teams at training events and team meetings to promote flu vaccines in addition to our wider health and wellbeing initiatives.
We’ve been keeping people updated with our progress by using a variety of channels such as Twitter and the staff intranet. We’ve also introduced a bit of friendly competition by producing flu vaccine uptake graphs between our three localities, as well as holding a prize draw for every 75th member immunised.
We'll report again in the New Year to update on how the campaign is going. If you missed it, read our first blog post - flu systems go!