Every year the Trust offers a free seasonal flu vaccination to
every member of staff and our local flu leads try to encourage
staff to have the vaccine with varying degrees of success. Between
myself and the local flu leads we have heard every excuse for not
having the vaccine, from “it will give me the flu” to
I have never had the flu so I don’t need it” and even
It won’t kill me if I do get the flu will it”.


the time of writing this article we have only vaccinated 47% of our
frontline healthcare workers (FHW) despite all the efforts of the
local flu leads and other willing volunteers helping out with the
vaccinations on stations and in EOC’s / 111. Last year we managed
to vaccinate 61.4% of FHW’s which was our best ever total, but
still some way off the Department of Health’s 75%

I have spoken to many of you about the reasons
for having the flu vaccination and have even changed the minds of a
few that have never had the vaccination before and their feedback
to me was generally “it has never been explained to me like
that before

So for those of you that I haven’t had the
chance to speak to me face to face here is my reason for having the
flu vaccination every year;

“I have been in the ambulance service for
29 years and although, like most of us, I have built up an immunity
to many of the infections we come into contact with on a daily
basis, it doesn’t mean that I have not become a carrier of that
infection and passed it onto a patient without knowing. Flu doesn’t
always present in the same way and for some of us it may just seem
like a heavy cold and therefore we just carry on as we don’t want
to go sick, but that heavy cold / flu virus can be transmitted to
the weak and vulnerable patients we care for and guess what? It can
KILL them.

The vaccine doesn’t give 100% protection
however it is still the best form of protection we have in the
locker along with standard universal infection prevention and
control precautions especially hand hygiene compliance.

The flu virus can mutate and that is why
you need a vaccine every year and as we all know two years ago
another strain of the virus appeared in the community that wasn’t
part of that year’s vaccine. However, the vaccine that year still
protected us against three of the strains that were out in the
community and the following year that new strain was part of the

I attended a flu vaccination conference
earlier this year and was able to hear first-hand about Adele’s
story. Some of you may have taken the time to view it on the
Intranet already, but for those of you that haven’t please click on
the link below and have a listen to her story and then have another
think about why you should consider having the flu vaccination
every year”.

Thank you for taking the time to read this and
for those of you that would like to have the vaccine please click
on the link below to find your local flu lead who can help you get
the vaccine at a time / location that suits you.

Find your Flu

Adele’s Story

Adele Joicey had a complicated pregnancy and
her identical twins were born premature and had breathing problems.
Her story is one of many where the care of NHS staff saved her

However, Adele is conscious that if her sons caught the flu it
could prove to be deadly to them, even now. She asks all NHS staff
to get their jab since they could, without any symptoms, spread the
flu to her children and this would have a huge impact on her

flufighter: Adele’s story from NHS Employers on Vimeo.