Flu fighters accept call to arms across Lincolnshire

Flu jabs.
Flu jabs.

NHS Trusts in Lincolnshire saw some of the most improved rates for staff uptake of the seasonal flu vaccine this winter.

Lincolnshire Partnership NHS Foundation Trust (LPFT) and Lincolnshire Community Health Services NHS Trust (LCHS), both feature in the top five most improved trusts nationally.

Meanwhile, at United Lincolnshire Hospitals NHS Trust (ULHT), 10 per cent more staff chose to have their flu jabs this year, meaning it was the 15th best performing Trust in the country, out of 245 Trusts.

At LPFT, 79.2 per cent of frontline staff (1041 out of 1314 workers) have been vaccinated against flu, which makes the trust the second most improved NHS organisation in the country in terms of staff jab uptake (an improvement of 41.4 per cent).

Jane Lord, LPFT’s infection prevention and control specialist nurse, said that the dedication of LPFT vaccinators has made it possible for the Trust to achieve its best result ever and exceed its target.

She said: “We have worked hard to ensure staff can’t pass the bug to patients, carers, colleagues and their own family members.

“This year we have made the flu jab clinics as assessable to staff as possible with having pop up clinics, impromptu visits and using social media to promote the dates and the importance of having a jab.

“Our efforts have paid off as we have been recognised nationally as an example of good practice, and presented at the NHS Employers event in Leeds and a teleconference for Northern Ireland trusts.”

At LCHS, 1,098 out of 1,528 frontline staff (71.9 per cent) received their vaccination, an increase of 34.9 per cent on last year.

Staff at LCHS also helped to make a charitable contribution this year by donating 10 tetanus vaccines to UNICEF for every single flu vaccination – meaning 10,980 vaccines will be donated in aid of children internationally.

Susan Ombler, deputy director of nursing at LCHS, said: “We are very proud to have made such a significant improvement in uptake of the flu vaccination among those who deliver care to our patients. As an organisation, we recognise this is a patient safety issue.

“Our team of peer vaccinators have worked really hard to make the vaccination as accessible as possible to our staff, who, by the nature of the care we deliver are dispersed and spend a considerable amount of time working remotely in patients’ homes and local clinics.

“We are also honoured to support UNICEF, wanting to further extend the values and benefit of the flu campaign in protecting others.

By supporting ‘Get a Jab, Give a Jab’ we can do that on an international scale.”

At ULHT a total of 4,702 out of 5,756 eligible frontline staff received their injections from dedicated vaccinators across the Trust’s various departments and wards – an uptake of 81.7 per cent, and one of the best flu jab uptake performances in the country.

Stephen Kelly, ULHT’s occupational health business manager said he was extremely proud of all his NHS flu fighters.

He said: “I’d like to say a massive ‘thank you’ to all the staff who decided to have their flu jabs this year and also to all those who helped us administer them – it was a great team effort. These results have been our best ever and it’s a testament to how dedicated our staff are to helping keep patients and their families as healthy as possible over the harsh winter months.

“We’re a very large Trust, covering a big geographical area so this took a lot of teamwork and organisation, and I’m extremely proud of all our fantastic flu fighters.”

Nationally, 68.7 per cent of eligible frontline staff chose to have a flu jab this year – a total of 704,242 NHS workers.