The Trust, which runs three hospitals in the region as well as outpatient services at various community sites, is on a mission to vaccinate all colleagues directly involved in patient care and treatment. No stranger to tackling the winter illness, DBTH has been amongst the first acute NHS providers to vaccinate 75 per cent of front-line staff against the illness for the past number of years.
Since beginning on Monday 20 September, the organisation’s team of vaccinators have worked tirelessly in order to give medics and clinicians easy access to the vaccine. As was the case in 2020, the health provider is placing significant emphasis on this year’s campaign as there is a potential for influenza, norovirus and COVID-19 to be circulating as the weather turns colder.
David Purdue, Deputy Chief Executive and Chief Nurse, said: “Ensuring colleagues protect themselves against flu is extremely important, however, given the challenges of the past 18 months, it is absolutely crucial. Team DBTH have been working hard in their fight against COVID-19, and as winter arrives we will begin to see cases of both flu and norovirus, in addition to the challenges presented by the pandemic. Getting the jab ensures our staff are protecting themselves, their colleagues, and their friends, family and loved ones.”
Throughout the rest of September and into October, the Trust will continue to vaccinate its workforce to further reduce the risk of hospital patients contracting flu this winter, with an additional COVID-19 booster programme also planned. 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 flu and cold symptoms such as fever, chills, headache, cough, body aches and fatigue – in addition to COVID-19 symptoms. A full list of visiting restrictions can be viewed here: https://www.dbth.nhs.uk/coronavirus-need-know/
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.
Health professionals at the Trust are also urging local people to adhere to Government guidelines on Covid-19, particularly stressing the importance of hands, face and space.
David continues: “This has been a difficult year in many ways, but our communities have been outstanding in their support. Please continue a little while longer – wash your hands regularly, wear an appropriate face covering when necessary, and leave a two metre distance between yourself and others when out and about. Adherence to these three things will make all the difference this winter.”