17 / 9 / 2013 Midnight
Today the country’s most senior clinicians urged all frontline NHS staff to take flu vaccinations when they become available from this month.
Letters were sent from the Chief Nursing Officer, Chief Medical Officer, NHS Medical Director and other leaders to all groups of doctors, nurses, midwives and allied health professionals.
The national NHS flu fighter staff vaccination campaign says this is an indication that the ‘new’ health bodies, established following the NHS restructure in April, continue to treat flu as a serious priority. Dean Royles, chief executive of the NHS Employers organisation that is running NHS flu fighter for its third year, said:
“This explicit support from the country’s most senior clinicians is hugely important for sustaining the fight against flu. It’s a great opportunity for our staff to set a leadership example. I’m pleased that the major NHS reforms since April haven’t taken the focus off preparations for this dangerous virus.
“It’s upsetting and frustrating to consider how many lives have been lost to flu, measles and other viruses because of unfounded myths about vaccines. Government, health leaders and NHS flu fighter are doing all we can to explain how the flu vaccine is safe and effective, and I really hope this display of solidarity from the country’s top clinicians can reassure people.
“Over one hundred thousand more NHS staff are being vaccinated now than in 2011, which is fantastic, and the support is there to aim even higher this year. Every one of us in the NHS signed-up for a compassionate health service and getting vaccinated needs to be seen as part of this - as a simple personal decision that protects ourselves, our patients and our families.”
The authors of the letters are:
To doctors: Dame Sally Davies, Chief Medical Officer at the Department of Health; Sir Bruce Keogh, Medical Director at NHS England; Paul Cosford, Director for Health Protection and Medical Director at Public Health England; Professor David Salisbury, Director of Immunisation at the Department of Health.
To nurses and midwives: Jane Cummings, Chief Nursing Officer at NHS England; Viv Bennett, Director of Nursing at the Department of Health; Professor David Salisbury, Director of Immunisation at the Department of Health.
To allied health professionals: Karen Middleton CBE, Chief Allied Health Professions Officer at NHS England; Professor David Salisbury, Director of Immunisation at the Department of Health.