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Record numbers of NHS staff vaccinated against flu

28 February 2014

The number of NHS staff vaccinated against seasonal flu has reached the half-million milestone for the first time, according to figures published by Public Health England.

Figures taken on 27th February confirm that 534,090 (54.8 per cent) frontline NHS staff chose to be vaccinated this winter. It is a significant increase on the 459,293 (45.6 per cent) vaccinated the previous year, making this also the first winter to see flu vaccinations for more than half of these staff who work directly with patients.

The vaccinations contributed to winter planning in the NHS and can help save lives by keeping the workforce healthy and protecting vulnerable patients. The NHS Employers organisation is in its third year of running the national flu fighter campaign.

 Sue Covill, director of employment services at NHS Employers, said: "We’re extremely proud to have reached some major milestones in the flu campaign this year – and especially proud of the inspiring efforts of all those staff who volunteer their time to help bring this campaign alive.

"We can now say the majority of frontline staff have flu vaccinations and this is a good cultural shift, helping staff to view it as a commonplace routine like washing your hands.

"This winter 5,000 staff a day have had vaccinations and this is down to very creative work including extensive social media activity and engagement between staff and managers. These are great behaviours and we really encourage teams to keep that momentum going – in flu and in other areas – and to keep sharing their best practice.”

GP surgeries, trusts and other organisations have received flu fighter’s wide range of support material, access to expert advice, and expanded its contacts network throughout the changes across the NHS.

The full figures are available at: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/seasonal-flu-vaccine-uptake-in-healthcare-workers-1-september-2013-to-31-january-2014

Local examples are available here, with the winners of this year’s flu fighter awards: