World class outcomes – what's flu vaccine got to do with it?

Achieving world class outcomes means we must innovate, review our results, work effectively in our teams and make sure we involve our patients and primary care. It also means we must have the best staff who have access to the right training and get support to stay fit and well – sickness absence can put patients at risk.

Getting staff vaccinated against influenza is one key part of our response to this.

Why bother to vaccinate staff?

  • Frontline healthcare workers are more likely to become infected
  • Even in generally healthy staff flu can cause severe complications
  • Staff at work who are infected (for example, what would be called a sub-clinical infection) can pass the virus to vulnerable patients
  • If sickness rates rise it means we simply don’t have the experienced staff to achieve the world-class outcomes we seek.

Whilst we know the flu vaccine won’t prevent every case, we know it is 60 to 90% effective, we also know it is a relatively safe – with some local bruising or stiffness felt. Other side effects such as lack of energy have been reported but these are short lived and are less likely with this year’s seasonal vaccine.

Most importantly flu vaccine cannot cause flu – it is inactivated virus which will not result in infection.

Staff with a history of severe allergy reactions (anaphylaxis) or with egg allergy can talk with occupational health about what they need to do.

So for a better chance of a flu free winter and for our aim of excellence – vaccination has lots to do with it.

For more information about the seasonal flu campaign visit the NHS employers website.