Flu fighters battle the winter bugs in best ever performance

More of Lincolnshire’s frontline hospital staff chose to have their flu vaccines last winter than ever before, helping to keep patients safe throughout the chilly season.

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United Lincolnshire Hospitals NHS Trust (ULHT) vaccinated an impressive 88% of its eligible staff against flu this year, meaning it was ranked as the sixth best performing NHS Trust nationally and second for the amount of overall staff receiving their injections.

At ULHT, a total of 4,951 out of 5,641 eligible frontline staff received their jabs from dedicated vaccinators – the best ever flu vaccination uptake performance by the Trust.

Stephen Kelly, ULHT’s head of occupational health said he was extremely proud of all his NHS flu fighters.

“To come sixth nationally, with 88% of staff making the choice to have their flu jabs and help protect their patients, themselves and their families, is a really tremendous achievement,” said Stephen.

“I would like to thank all of our staff who made the choice to have their flu jabs last year.

“We’ve moved from less than a 20% uptake just a few years ago to our current performance, which is a testament to everyone working together.

“Our vaccine order for next winter is already complete and we are planning the campaign as we speak so will need everyone’s help again to accept the vaccination challenge ahead of us later this year.”

Kevin Shaw, Lead Nurse for Infection Prevention and Control at ULHT, said that staff having their flu jabs definitely helped the Trust get through another tough winter season.

“Between November 2018 and March 2019 we saw 335 positive flu cases admitted to our hospitals, which was significantly more than the previous year,” said Kevin.

“The vast majority of these patients were suffering from the same strain of flu which was covered by the vaccine given to our frontline healthcare workers, which means them having their jabs greatly reduced the risk of further transmission.

“It was a fantastic effort by all involved.”

Director of Nursing at ULHT Michelle Rhodes added her delight by saying: “This is a marvellous result. A massive ‘well done’ goes to all our staff who were vaccinators and all those who received their jabs.”