Hull among top 10 NHS trusts for flu vaccine

Hull has been named among the top ten NHS trusts in the country for protecting patients, staff and their families from flu this winter.

Hull University Teaching Hospitals NHS Trust achieved the national target of 75 per cent by mid-November, the fastest it has been reached in the trust’s history.

By January 21, 6,500 staff – including 83 per cent involved in direct patient care – had received the flu jab, one of the best vaccination rates in the country.

Simon Nearney, Director of Workforce and Organisational Development, said: “To make it into the top 10 in the country shows how hard our Occupational Health team, together with ward vaccinators, have worked to drive up our vaccination rates.

“Having so many frontline staff vaccinated against flu means we are offering the best protection to already seriously unwell patients.

“Not only are staff protecting themselves from a very nasty illness, they’re also protecting their loved ones and patients by taking up the offer of a free vaccination.

Last year, staff took 5,575 days off sick through colds and flu. Research shows a 10 per cent increase in staff vaccinations can result in a 10 per cent decrease in sickness absence.

Evidence from NICE also suggests a link between lower staff vaccination rates and increased patient deaths.

The trust’s Occupational Health nurses trained 114 volunteer vaccinators to administer the jab to staff as part of this year’s campaign, which runs until February.

Drop-in clinics were also held in the dining rooms at Hull Royal Infirmary and Castle Hill Hospital in the mornings and at lunchtime every week in October and November to ensure as many staff could attend as possible.

Vaccinations were also offered to staff at training events, when they attended Occupational Health appointments and at monthly induction days for new starters.

Plans are already under way to encourage even more staff to take up the offer of free vaccinations next winter including volunteer vaccinators based in every ward and department.