25 / 10 / 2013 1.28pm
As we move further towards winter, more and more frontline healthcare workers are receiving their seasonal influenza vaccination from their trusts. However, questions continue to be raised with regard to the vaccination of students on placement and where the responsibility lies for this.
Student healthcare worker entitlement clarification
Crucially, in defining who should receive flu vaccination, the Green Book guidance states:
"This includes staff who have regular clinical contact with patients and who are directly involved in patient care. This includes doctors, dentists, midwives and nurses, paramedics and ambulance drivers, occupational therapists, physiotherapists and radiographers. Students and trainees in these disciplines and volunteers who are working with patients must also be included."
Students, trainees and volunteers working in NHS Trusts should therefore be treated in the same way as employees of those Trusts.
Additionally, there is a legal duty on employers under the Health and Safety at Work Act 1974 to protect the health of "those at work and others who may be affected by their work activity". These same obligations should equally apply to students, trainees and volunteers working in NHS Trusts.