20 / 11 / 2013 Midnight
Responding to yesterday’s (19 November) ‘Immune Response’ report by the International Longevity Centre, Dean Royles (chief executive of the NHS Employers organisation that is running a ‘flu fighter’ campaign in England and Wales) said:
“This report gets straight to the point about life-saving staff flu vaccinations, showing that that sharing best practice is the key to getting more people vaccinated and that there’s a clear business case for doing so.
“We want more organisations to talk about the importance of vaccinations and to help them become commonplace among vulnerable groups and key staff areas. This a leadership challenge that needs commitment up to board level. Our ‘flu fighter’ campaign has helped increase NHS staff vaccinations in England by 108,000 since 2011. This is only possible because staff are being supported by managers to be adventurous in how they raise awareness and because participating organisations are sharing their best ideas and methods with others.
“As the ILC explains, the increasing average age of both staff and the public is making infections like flu more dangerous. And while antibiotics don’t stop flu, their diminishing success at stopping other infections will put an increasing strain on people’s immune systems. This is why we urgently need immunisation to become the norm. Flu kills but having the vaccination protects staff, patients and family.
Read the ILC’s report
The flu fighter campaign is run by the NHS Employers organisation with and is working to increase the number of NHS staff who choose to be vaccinated each year. It is in its third year in England and its first year in Wales. NHS Employers has continued to use social media to increase awareness of the campaign this year, successfully encouraging trusts to embed #flufighter in flu conversations across the Twitter network. The social media presence of the campaign continues to encourage feedback from employers and staff about the flu vaccination. More information is available at www.nhsemployers.org/flu and also on Facebook (www.facebook.com/nhsflufighter) and Twitter (@NHSFlufighter).