Protecting Doncaster patients against the perils of flu

General Health tile
General Health tile

The health trust that runs Doncaster and Bassetlaw Hospitals is marching full steam ahead with its staff seasonal flu vaccination programme.

In just over seven weeks, the Trust has already vaccinated three quarters (78.4 per cent) of its 4,000-strong army of healthcare workers, who are ready and able to protect their patients against the perils of flu bug this winter.

The large numbers of frontline staff coming forward so quickly shows a real determination by Doncaster and Bassetlaw Hospitals’ workforce to keep their patients safe and harmfree.

Flu is a miserable illness for adults, causing aches, fever, chills and, in vulnerable people, breathing problems. Children can also be badly affected, with some developing complications such as bronchitis, pneumonia and middle-ear infections. They might need hospital treatment, and very occasionally a child can die from flu.

That’s why the flu vaccine is offered free to all frontline NHS staff as part of the national Flu Fighter campaign, the aim being to reduce the risk of flu in health workers and the patients they care for.

Debbie O’Toole, Head of Occupational Health and Wellbeing at Doncaster and Bassetlaw Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust, said: “Our staff have done us proud and we know they are passionate about their work and patient care. It is brilliant that they have wholeheartedly embraced and supported the flu vaccination programme again this year. Flu can be very serious for our sick and vulnerable patients, and having the vaccine remains the best way to protect them against the potential serious harm from flu this winter.”

Not satisfied with hitting 78.4 per cent, the Trust has set itself an ambitious target of vaccinating a staggering 85% of its frontline staff in the coming weeks before the influenza bug becomes active.

The term ‘frontline staff’ means those who have direct contact with patients in their roles. As well as healthcare professionals like doctors and nurses, it also includes staff who move patients around the hospitals, clean the wards, and welcome them into the Trust’s clinics. So far, in this season’s campaign, an amazing 95.4% of these 1,300 support staff have had their flu vaccine.

The Trust is fighting back against flu, but patients and visitors too can do their bit too and protect themselves. People who have a long term condition, those over 65 and pregnant women will be eligible for a free flu jab should seek advice from their pharmacist or GP practice.