Welsh flu fighter awards winners announced

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Flu bug

15 / 4 / 2014 4.23pm

On Wednesday 26 March we held our first ever annual flu fighter awards for Wales. After receiving entries to this year’s awards, the winners were invited to attend the awards ceremony in Cardiff. Follow the journey that our flu fighters took by using #flufighterawards on Twitter. All of the finalists submitted excellent nominations, which showed the commitment and innovation they dedicated towards improving their flu vaccination uptake figures for staff. 

And the winners are… 

Flu fighter champion 

Llinos Bates, Hywel Dda University Health Board Hywel Dda

This award aims to recognise and celebrate an individual's effort and commitment to improving flu vaccination uptake in their trust or health board. Two of these awards were created due to the outstanding achievements of the nominees. Llinos was the only volunteer from the hospital ready to take on the flu fighter challenge. She provided crucial support to core teams, by talking to staff, promoting and encouraging the flu jab – and giving the vaccine to staff herself. The culture within the hospital has now changed and staff are now talking much more positively about the flu jab. At the end of November uptake had already reached 25 per cent.   

Flu fighter champion

Nicola Bevan, Cardiff and Vale University Health Board Flu Cardiff and Vale

As with the previous champion award, this award aims to recognise and celebrate the effort and commitment of an individual to improving flu vaccination uptake in their trust or health board. Nicola led the Occupational Health seasonal flu campaign for Cardiff and Vale UHB staff tirelessly, with determination and with an always positive outlook. Vaccine uptake has increased every year under Nicola’s watch, achieving over 40 per cent this flu season. Vaccination is now considered normal activity for staff at the UHB, with managers and senior staff encouraging staff to get the jab. Nicola and her teams’ approachable and common sense attitude to vaccination have made this happen. 

#flufighter – communications campaign award 

Cwm Taf University Health Board Flu Cwm Taf

This award aims to celebrate and highlight the impact of using digital and social media to promote the flu vaccination campaign in a Health Board or Trust. The flu campaign at Cwm Taf University Health Board has seen huge improvements since 2010/11, building on success each year to improve uptake of the vaccine. This season they utilised a ‘Buddies’ system, using Advanced Nurse Practitioners in community hospitals to vaccinate staff. Their robust and highly visible communications plan included: weekly chief executive blog to all staff including links to evidence constant promotion on the corporate intranet homepage and newsletters placards and photographs of senior staff receiving the flu jab Cwm Taf staff on the NHS Employers branded posters payslip attachment to November payslips dedicated flu page on the corporate intranet including details of all clinics.    

Most improved flu fighter campaign 

Welsh Ambulance Service Trust (WAST) WAST

This award aims to not only showcase organisations who have made a significant improvement in flu vaccination uptake, but those who have made improvements in their overall campaign. Traditionally uptake for the vaccine had been very low, so this flu season Welsh Ambulance Service Trust decided to develop their own in-house Flu team that could go out to operational staff and deliver the flu vaccines directly. The trust purchased their own equipment and vaccines, trained nurses in immunisation standards and visited staff to offer the vaccination. This had the amazing result of increasing uptake from just 10 per cent last season, to 27 per cent this year!   

Best flu fighter team 

Abertawe Bro Morgannwg (ABM) University Health Board Flu fighter Wales

This award is the most coveted of our five categories. It aims to highlight excellent team and partnership working in a Health Board or Trust flu immunisation team. The ABM team led their campaign though an incredibly busy time with passion, whilst their organisation was not only undergoing a lot of change, but also dealing with emergency planning in response to the Swansea measles outbreak. The team got senior staff and management involved in promoting the campaign and worked with outpatients departments to arrange clinical space for immunisers, where frontline staff would have easy access to vaccines without taking them too far away from their departments. They took responsibility for data, highlighting uptake figures, and sent out regular staff bulletins. Pharmacy colleagues really stepped up to the plate this year, working hard to be more flexible allowing more staff to be vaccinated at short notice. This all resulted in an uptake of over 41 per cent, alongside vaccinating over 890 colleagues from partner organisations.   

Most innovative campaign 

Betsi Cadwaladr University Health Board Flu Betsi Cadwaladar

This award required a new or exciting strategy, implemented this year by an organisation to improve uptake at directorate or department level. The season, the health board developed a new campaign - ‘Bite Size Flu campaign’ – encouraging Nurse managers to be responsible in each of their units, wards and divisions – offering the vaccine to their staff. They achieved this by: having a lot more immunisers vaccinating small groups of staff at a time personal discussions with staff dispelling common myths, and identifying which staff had already been given the vaccine by their GP using managerial time for the campaign, to avoid taking nurses away from patients staff working in the general ward area such as doctors and porters were also offered the vaccine at every opportunity. The team created a total of 47 new immunisers, who worked alongside other experienced immunisers from the community to vaccinate their colleagues. This increased awareness, confidence and uptake of the flu vaccine from 35.3 per cent in 2012/13 to over 40 per cent this season, with higher uptake in nursing staff. 

If you have any questions or queries about the awards, contact a member of the flu fighter team on 0844 334 52 52 or by email at flufighter@nhsemployers.org

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