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South Shields hospital staff prepare for winter by having flu jabs

Dr Bob Brown, of South Tyneside NHS Foundation Trust's nursing and patient safety, left, with hospital staff.
Dr Bob Brown, of South Tyneside NHS Foundation Trust's nursing and patient safety, left, with hospital staff.

Hospital staff in South Tyneside are preparing for the impending winter by getting their flu jabs.

Hospital and community health staff at South Tyneside NHS Foundation Trust are making sure they’re able to look after others by getting immunised against the flu.

The flu vaccine is the best protection we have against an unpredictable virus which can cause severe illness and deaths among at-risk groups, including older people, pregnant women and those with a health condition – even one that is well-managed.

Dr Bob Brown

The Trust, which launches its annual staff flu vaccination drive on Monday, has trained ‘flu champions’ to help its occupational health department deliver the campaign at South Tyneside District Hospital and at community health venues in Gateshead, South Tyneside and Sunderland.

Dr Bob Brown, executive director of nursing and patient safety, said: “The flu vaccine is the best protection we have against an unpredictable virus which can cause severe illness and deaths among at-risk groups, including older people, pregnant women and those with a health condition – even one that is well-managed.

“Our staff flu immunisation campaign is an important part of our preparation for winter, which traditionally brings pressures on health services. Last winter, those pressures were particularly severe, not only for us but for the NHS as a whole, so it is vital that our staff stay healthy.

“By having the flu jab, as well as protecting their vulnerable patients, they protect themselves, their colleagues and their own families from the virus.”

The immunisation is offered to frontline healthcare workers, such as doctors, midwives and nurses, and to other staff to help reduce sickness absence so that everyone can continue to play their part in the delivery of services, ensuring that patients receive the best possible care.

The injected flu vaccine is also free of charge on the NHS to people in ‘at risk’ groups to ensure they are protected against catching flu and developing serious complications.

Those eligible for a free flu jab are people over 65, pregnant women, people with certain medical conditions, people in long-stay residential care and people who are a carer for the elderly and disabled.