The Trust, which runs three main hospitals in the region as well as outpatient services at various community sites, is believed to be amongst the fastest performing NHS providers in the country in achieving the 75 per cent vaccination rate, as data is still being analysed by NHS Employers.
The Trust’s flu campaign is spearheaded by a dedicated team of vaccinators made up of Occupational Health and Wellbeing practitioners and supported by hospital clinicians of all grades and levels, including Chief Executive, and registered nurse, Richard Parker, as well as Moira Hardy, Director of Nursing, Midwifery and Allied Health Professionals, both of whom administered the vaccines to members of staff.
The vaccination team have worked tirelessly visiting wards and departments in order to give medics and clinicians easy access to the vaccine, while providing special drop-in sessions for weekend workers and night staff. This ‘all hands on deck’ model, which has proven so effective over the past number of years, has seen success again with the Trust hitting the target in record time.
So popular was this year’s campaign that the Trust ran out of jabs after just three days, when more than 1,600 clinicians opted to get their vaccination. In all, when stocks were available, the team managed to reach the national target of 75 per cent in just 21 days, 38 per cent faster than last year’s efforts. In order to help promote the availability of the jab, each year the Trust takes on cinematic inspiration, with this year’s flu vaccination campaign nodding towards Disney Pixar’s ‘The Incredibles’. Dubbed the ‘Flucredibles’, vaccinators adopted a decidedly heroic posture, complete with face masks and their own costumes, making them highly recognisable within the Trust.
Moira said: “This has been a truly remarkable achievement for members of Team DBTH and something which outlines the dedication we have, as a Trust, to ensure we protect our patients. The enthusiasm for this year’s flu campaign has far outstripped our, already high, expectations and I want to thank everyone involved, particularly our vaccination team who have been tireless in their efforts.”
The Trust will continue to vaccinate its patient-facing workforce as well as offering the vaccine to non-frontline staff, to further reduce the risk of hospital patients contracting flu this winter. Visitors can also help in the fight against flu and other winter illnesses by not coming to the Trust to see relatives and friends in hospital if they have cold symptoms such as fever, chills, headache, cough, body aches and fatigue.
Flu can cause a range of illnesses from mild to severe, even among healthy people. People aged 65 and over, pregnant women, anyone with diabetes, chest or heart conditions and others in at-risk groups are advised to ask their GP about having the flu vaccine.