The flu fighting season is in full swing at Doncaster and Bassetlaw Hospitals, as they push ahead with their annual staff flu vaccination campaign, in a mission to protect patients from the flu bug this winter.
In the first week since starting its annual flu fighting campaign, (on 29 September 2014), the health trust has vaccinated 32.7% of its 4,000 strong workforce who have direct patient contact – that’s 1,339 doctors, nurses and other healthcare workers in just six days.
The Trust’s Medical Director, Mr Sewa Singh (pictured), said: “Influenza is a serious disease which can result in death. As a caring organisation, we take our responsibilities seriously to do our best to protect vulnerable patients and staff. Vaccinating our staff each year against flu is a health intervention that is proven to work. It lowers the risk of our staff contracting the virus and passing it onto their patients.”
Doncaster and Bassetlaw is one of the ‘big five’ highest rated trusts nationally for its successful staff flu vaccination campaigns. Last year the trust vaccinated 81.3% of its healthcare workforce who have direct contact with patients. In the 2012/13 flu campaign, Doncaster and Bassetlaw Hospitals was singled out for praise by NHS Employers for vaccinating an amazing 80.9 per cent of frontline health workers.
The success of the seasonal flu campaign is largely attributed to the Trust’s award-winning Occupational Health & Wellbeing ‘Flu Fighter’ team. The team of flu fighters have hit the road again offering flu jabs to doctors, nurses, other healthcare workers, and also staff out in the community. During October, before the winter kicks in, the flu fighters are out on the wards and patient areas across Doncaster Royal Infirmary, Bassetlaw Hospital and Montagu Hospital in Mexborough vaccinating frontline staff. To make sure they catch as many staff as possible they are also holding drop-in sessions from 20 October, at the Occupational Health department at Doncaster Royal Infirmary and vaccinating staff at a weekend.
As winter approaches the flu virus becomes more active and even healthy people can catch it. Offering the flu jab to those staff with direct patient contact means that Doncaster and Bassetlaw Hospitals is helping to keep flu bug at bay, protecting the Trust’s many vulnerable patients.
Symptoms of flu can be very unpleasant and can last for several days. Symptoms generally come on suddenly, and can include fever, chills, headache, cough, body aches and fatigue. It can also lead to more serious complications like pneumonia and bronchitis. If you do experience any of these symptoms, the health trust is reminding patients and visitors to help them by keeping away from their hospitals if they have cold or flu symptoms.