First ever Welsh awards given to those who protect NHS staff from flu

Flu Cardiff and Vale

28 / 3 / 2014 Midnight

Wales has held its first national awards to recognise NHS staff who campaign tirelessly to help colleagues to have voluntary seasonal flu vaccinations.

The NHS flu fighter awards were presented to six inspiring individuals and teams by Public Health Wales and NHS Employers at the Public Health Wales headquarters in Cardiff.

Latest figures confirm that these winners and other staff helped increase the number of vaccinations of NHS Wales staff to 34,861 (40.6 per cent) this winter, up from 28,559 (35.5 per cent) in 2012/13. These safe, effective vaccines are not compulsory but can help save lives by keeping the workforce healthy and protecting vulnerable patients.

The winners at the ceremony, which took place on 26 March, were:

#flufighter Communications Campaign Award
Cwm Taf University Health Board
The communications team in Cwm Taf University Health Board demonstrated a well-planned, innovative, and focused campaign. Highlights included a chief executive blog, buy-in from senior staff, ‘flu buddies’ to help dispel any myths, use of photographs of local staff in promotional resources, weekly updates, the Cwm Taf ‘jabometer’, use of twitter, promotion via the intranet, and payslip attachments. Displaying uptake by staff group and how many staff accessed various communication channels helped to highlight areas of improvement and top tips for success. In 2013/14 uptake of flu vaccination in NHS staff was nearly 43 per cent compared to 9 per cent in 2010/11.

Flu fighter champion
Nicola Bevan – Cardiff and Vale University Health Board
Nicky has led the occupational health seasonal flu campaign for staff with determination, working tirelessly to continuously adapt and improve the flu immunisation service for staff. Her positive approach has been rewarded with increasing vaccine uptake year on year. Nicky’s common sense and approachability have been a key factors in helping make this happen.
Llinos Bates – Hywel Dda University Health Board
Llinos has provided endless good humour, encouragement and support to the occupational health team. The only person in one hospital to volunteer to support the flu vaccination campaign, she doesn’t avoid tricky conversations, but listens with empathy to any concerns, always answering questions with sound, evidence based information. With a positive commitment, Llinos continues building her reputation as Flu Champion by highlighting the campaign at every suitable opportunity.

Innovative flu fighter campaign
Betsi Cadwaladr University Health Board
This health board demonstrates clearly that they are making new ideas in promoting staff flu immunisation happen. This inspiring and innovative team are commended for their ‘100 per cent offer’ aim. Led by Leigh Pusey, the Immunisation Coordinator, working in partnership across the organisation, innovations have included the development of a ‘bite sized flu campaign’, which included personal discussions, small group vaccinations, support from managers, opportunistic immunisation, and robust record keeping, also the development of a ‘flow chart with a diary action plan’ to help promote the campaign to nurse managers.

Most improved flu fighter campaign
Welsh Ambulance Service NHS Trust
Historically high uptake in ambulance services has been hard to achieve so the Trust developed an in-house flu team to take the flu vaccination campaign direct to staff in their workplaces. The increase in staff flu vaccine uptake from 10 per cent to 27 per cent is outstanding.

Best flu fighter team
Abertawe Bro Morgannwg University Health Board
During a period of challenging organisational change, and pressures due to local outbreaks this team used a multidisciplinary approach that included the development of partnerships within and beyond the organisation to achieve an improvement in uptake.
The teams’ inclusion of regular checking and cleansing of data was commended for utilising their informatics department to develop a robust system to support the regular sharing of uptake information. It is great news that there is now a far greater awareness amongst staff and that all those involved in the campaign provided positive feedback.

Dean Royles, chief executive of the NHS Employers organisation, said:

“NHS Wales has always been innovative so we know we’d see great local campaigns, but these really blew away our expectations. NHS flu fighter is all about sharing ideas and we will definitely helping other organisations in Wales, England and elsewhere to borrow ideas from these award-winning staff.

“This was the first time we have taken flu fighter to Wales and we want to do the same this coming winter, to ensure the excellent local teams have proven, authoritative and lively support for their efforts.

“It was a mild flu season this time, but that’s absolutely no reason to assume it will be next time. So it’s vital to stay diligent and keep building the momentum of these important vaccinations.”

Dr Richard Roberts, head of the Vaccine Preventable Disease Programme at Public Health Wales, said:

“Health board staff throughout Wales have supported the campaign to vaccinate healthcare workers against flu for many years with initiatives that have required hard work and innovation, and it is excellent to be able to recognise their efforts formally this year through the flu fighter awards in Wales.

“Public Health Wales would like to congratulate all the winners and thank them for their dedication to helping protect staff and patients against flu. We would also like to thank all the other health board staff who have made efforts to increase vaccination uptake this year and we look forward to working with them again next season.”

Notes for editors:
NHS Employers expanded its successful flu fighter campaign to Wales last winter, in agreement with Public Health Wales, after two successful earlier years in England. Hospitals and other NHS organisations throughout Wales received expert advice and attractive resources from NHS Employers. These were tailored to raise local awareness and to help vaccinations be provided effectively. More information is available at and also on Facebook ( and Twitter (@NHSFlufighter or #flufighter).

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