NHS Employers flu fighter awards celebrate hard work of frontline staff to prevent spread of flu

Danny Mortimer

Flu can be extremely dangerous for the very old, the very young and those with weakened immune systems and it’s therefore vitally important to try to prevent its spread. 
That’s why the flu fighter awards, run by NHS Employers, recognise and celebrate NHS trusts and social care organisations from across the country for their commitment to fighting the spread of flu among frontline staff in health and care.
At a special ceremony in Manchester last night (25 March), winners from NHS trusts, individuals and care organisations all scooped awards for their hard work in encouraging frontline staff to get their flu jab to protect themselves and those around them. 
The awards took place at the Midland Hotel and will be the last run by NHS Employers. The frontline healthcare worker flu vaccination campaign will become part of NHS England’s and Public Health England’s winter campaign from 2019/20.
Over the past eight years, the NHS Employers flu fighter campaign has helped English trusts to double their vaccine uptake rates among frontline healthcare workers from 34.7 per cent in 2010/11 to 68.7 per cent in 2017/18. 
The latest flu vaccination uptake figures from Public Health England show that 70.3 per cent, or 739,187 frontline healthcare workers, have been vaccinated so far this flu season (2018/19) – the highest uptake to date.
Winners received a glass trophy each. They were: 
- Best flu fighter care campaign - HC-One Ltd
- Most creative flu fighter campaign - Sandwell and West Birmingham Hospitals NHS Trust 
- Most innovative flu fighter campaign, sponsored by Abbott - South West Yorkshire Partnership NHS Foundation Trust
- Most improved flu fighter campaign - King's College Hospital
- flu fighter champion - Kathy Robinson, Sandwell and West Birmingham Hospitals NHS Trust
- Best flu fighter team, sponsored by NDL - Doncaster and Bassetlaw Teaching Hospitals
- Best use of the seven elements - Sussex Community NHS Foundation Trust
Judges of the awards included representatives from Skills for Care, the Royal College of Nursing and the editor of the Nursing Times, Steve Ford. 
Danny Mortimer, chief executive of NHS Employers and host of the flu fighter awards, said: 
“I have always been extremely impressed by the sustained efforts of flu fighters throughout the country who continue to surpass expectations and improve vaccination uptake rates. This evening is a celebration of their commitment to protecting our frontline staff, patients and service users from the effects of flu.” 
Steve Ford, editor of Nursing Times and judge, said: “I am delighted to be supporting the flu fighter awards, after eight years of such great success. This is my first year as a judge and I was extremely impressed by the level of creativity, and also fun, on show in the shortlisted entries. I know how important having the jab is for staff working on the front line of health and care. I have it myself.”

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