Successful vaccination drive ensures Norfolk’s community health staff are protected from flu this New Year

As we celebrate the New Year, Norfolk’s community NHS Trust is applauding the fact that over 1,500 members of staff have been vaccinated from flu, after its most successful vaccination drive to date. The success will help to protect the Trust’s NHS staff and their patients from winter illness in 2019.

A total of 1,573 staff from Norfolk Community Health and Care NHS Trust (NCH&C), which represents 75% of the workforce have now had the vaccination, which will help to reduce their risk of catching flu, as well as spreading it to those around them, including their colleagues, local patients, and their families.

The Trust’s staff, including doctors, nurses, therapists and receptionists, have been vaccinated over a three-month campaign, attending one of the many flu vaccination clinics between October and the end of December.

The NHS staff deliver and support a range of services across Norfolk, from nursing and therapy in people’s own homes and community clinics, palliative care, and rehabilitation within NCH&C’s community hospitals.

Beth Kimber, NCH&C’s Head of Infection, Prevention, and Control, said: “We have had our best response this year with many staff having the vaccination for the very first time.

“Nurses form the largest body of staff within the NHS, and as such, can make the biggest impact in preventing the spread of flu, and by having the jab helps to provide high quality compassionate care to our patients.

“It means that they and their colleagues are less likely to contract the flu virus during the busy winter period, while their patients, many of whom are elderly or have long-term conditions, can also be protected.”

As well as having the jab themselves, NCH&C’s staff have also been vaccinating vulnerable housebound patients during home visits, to ensure they stay protected.

Beth added: “Flu season is still upon us and those of you who haven’t had your vaccination are still at risk of catching the virus. Even if you don’t feel ill, you could be passing it onto vulnerable people. A massive 77% of people can have the flu with no symptoms and keep in mind that up to one third of influenza deaths are in healthy people. So don’t risk it and have your vaccination now.”

In addition, people in an ‘at risk’ group who are eligible for the free vaccination are encouraged to contact their GP surgery or community pharmacy to discuss accessing the vaccination. This includes everyone aged over 65, pregnant women and people between six months and 65 years-old who have specific health issues.

For more information about flu and the vaccine, go to: www.nhs.uk/flu

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