West Middlesex flu fighting underway

28 October 2013

The West Middlesex University Hospital aims to make great strides in reducing the spread of seasonal influenza (flu) this winter by vaccinating as many frontline staff as possible.

The West Middlesex University Hospital aims to make great strides in reducing the spread of seasonal influenza (flu) this winter by vaccinating as many frontline staff as possible.

It is joining the national NHS Flu Fighter staff vaccination campaign, which supports Trusts in England to help them improve staff flu vaccination uptake. The aim of the vaccination programme is to protect patients and visitors to the hospital from the flu virus, and reduce staff sickness over the busy winter period.

Medical Director Dr Stella Barnass said: “West Middlesextakes patient safety very seriously and we are working hard to encourage our nurses, doctors and other frontline clinical staff to get vaccinated to protect their patients, themselves and their families.

“Last year over 40 percent of front line clinical staff were vaccinated but this year we are aiming for at least 75 percent. To help achieve this we are holding drop-in vaccination sessions around the hospital for staff as well as ‘walk around clinics’ where nurses will visit busy departments to provide the jab to staff who might struggle to take time out from their duties.”

The hospital is also asking for help from its local community. If you have flu-like symptoms* then you should not come in to visit family or friends who are in the hospital as you could easily spread the flu to vulnerable patients.

For most people it will usually be possible for you to treat yourself effectively at home by resting, keeping warm, drinking plenty of water to avoid dehydration and taking over the counter medicines to help with aches and pains and to reduce a high temperature.

There are certain patient groups that are eligible for the free NHS flu vaccine such as those aged 65 years or older, pregnant women, people with a serious medical condition and those living in a residential or nursing home. For more information see the NHS Choices website, www.nhs.uk/conditions/flu/pages/introduction.aspx, or speak to your GP surgery or pharmacist. 

The types of flu that are around change each year so it is important that anyone advised to have the vaccination has it annually. This year’s vaccine will also immunise against swine flu.