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 staff members directly involved in patient care and treatment. No stranger to the flu-fighting campaign, DBTH has been the first NHS provider to vaccinate 75 per cent of front-line staff against the illness for two-years running.
This year’s flu campaign has been spearheaded by a dedicated team of vaccinators made up of Occupational Health and Wellbeing practitioners and supported by peer vaccinators in various roles, including Chief Executive, and registered nurse, Richard Parker, who is also helping to administer the jab to the staff.
The 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 highly effective over the past two years, is seeing success once again with a ground-swell of support from the team, so much so that in just three days the organisation ran out of vaccines and had to order more.
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 have taken on a decidedly heroic posture, complete with face masks and their own costumes, making them highly recognisable within the Trust.
Richard Parker, Chief Executive at the DBTH, said: “The team have shown real commitment to getting their flu jab this year, going above and beyond, already high, expectations. I am confident that we’re on course for another successful flu vaccination campaign, which, importantly, will help us to reduce the impact of the flu virus both in our hospitals and in the communities we serve.”
Throughout October, the Trust will continue to vaccinate its frontline workforce 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 flu and 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.