Frontline healthcare staff leading in fight against flu
Staff are rolling up their sleeves and having their flu jabs as part of the 2019 annual campaign to stop the flu virus in its tracks.
A team of peer vaccinators on wards and departments across Scunthorpe, Grimsby and Goole hospitals, as well as community settings, will be offering staff their flu vaccination.
The annual campaign, which launches every October, aims to vaccinate as many frontline staff as possible, helping to protect them, their patients and their families from the potentially deadly virus.
The Trust has joined the national NHS flu campaign, which supports Trusts in England to help them improve staff flu vaccination uptake.
The Trust takes patient safety very seriously and is working hard to encourage its nurses, doctors and other frontline staff to get vaccinated – helping to prevent them from catching flu or passing the virus on to patients.
The vaccinations are provided free of charge at a range of times and locations to suit all frontline staff, including night workers and those out in the community.
Maurice Madeo, deputy director of infection prevention and control, said: “Year on year we are seeing more and more of our staff rolling up their sleeves and having the jab. We want to continue with this trend as it means they are helping to not only protect themselves but also their colleagues, patients, family and friends.
“Winter is a busy time for the NHS and it is great to see staff playing their part by protecting themselves – reducing staff absence during this critical time.
“Outbreaks of flu can occur in health and social care settings, and because flu is so contagious, staff and patients are all at risk of infection. I would urge all frontline staff – doctors, nurses, allied health professionals, porters and domestics – to get their jabs.”
Flu is a common infectious viral illness spread by coughs and sneezes. It can be very unpleasant but people usually begin to feel better within about a week. It’s not the same as the common cold, with symptoms starting more suddenly, more severe and lasting longer.
Symptoms include: a high temperature (fever) of 38C (100.4F) or above; tiredness and weakness; a headache; general aches and pains, chills, aching muscles, limb or joint pain, diarrhoea or tummy pain, nausea and vomiting, loss of appetite and a dry chesty cough. People may also suffer a runny nose, sneezing and sore throat. Flu can also make you feel so exhausted and unwell that you have to stay in bed and rest until you feel better.
The flu vaccine is offered free of charge on the NHS to people who are at risk. This is to ensure they are protected against catching the flu and developing serious complications. The flu vaccine is offered free on the NHS to those at risk:
- People aged 65 years old and over
- Pregnant women
- People living in a long-stay residential care home or other long-stay care facilities
- Receive a carer’s allowance or are the main carer for an elderly or disabled person whose welfare may be at risk if you fall ill
- Health and social care staff employed by a registered residential care/nursing home or registered domiciliary care provider, who are directly involved in the care of vulnerable patients/clients.
It is also offered to people aged from six months to 65-years-old with medical conditions, including:
- Long-term respiratory diseases such as asthma (which requires an inhaled or steroid treatment, or has led to hospital admission in the past), chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) or bronchitis
- Chronic heart disease, such as heart failure
- Chronic kidney disease
- Chronic liver disease, such as hepatitis
- Chronic neurological conditions, such as Parkinson’s disease or motor neurone disease
- Problems with your spleen
- A weakened immune system.
The best time to have the vaccine is in the autumn between now and early October. For members of the public they should contact their local GP surgery. People should have the vaccination every year to stay protected, as the viruses that cause flu change every year.
For those people that do get flu-like symptoms, if you are otherwise fit and healthy, there is usually no need to visit your GP. The best remedy is to rest at home, keep warm and drink plenty of water to avoid dehydration. You can take Paracetamol or Ibuprofen to lower a high temperature and relieve aches.