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Chelsea and Westminster and West Middlesex fighting flu this winter

27 October 2016

Staff at Chelsea and Westminster and West Middlesex University Hospital are together working hard to reduce the spread of seasonal influenza (flu) this winter by vaccinating as many frontline staff as possible. The trust had the second highest uptake up-take last winter from its staff for the flu jab and since starting the campaign on 3 October some 744 / 23% of front line staff have been vaccinated already.

Staff at Chelsea and Westminster and West Middlesex University Hospital are together working hard to reduce the spread of seasonal influenza (flu) this winter by vaccinating as many frontline staff as possible. 

The trust had the second highest uptake up-take last winter from its staff for the flu jab and since starting the campaign on 3 October some 744 / 23% of front line staff have been vaccinated already. 

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. 

Deputy Medical Director Dr Roger Chinn said: “There are lots of myths associated with the flu and many people still believe it is a mild illness akin to a bad cold. Even for the normally fit and well getting the flu can be extremely unpleasant with the risk of serious complications. For the elderly and those with underlying health conditions the flu can be much more serious. 

“As a trust we take 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 so that we can keep the trust running smoothly during the busy winter period. 

“To help achieve this we are holding drop-in vaccination sessions around the hospital 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 strains of flu change each year so it is important that anyone advised to have the vaccination has it annually.