Staff working in care and nursing homes, or those employed to provide care in people’s homes, are being encouraged to get their free flu vaccination in order to protect those vulnerable people they care for who are already most at risk from the highly infectious virus.
NHS North Lincolnshire CCG is supporting the flu vaccination programme for care and nursing home workers, and local GPs and pharmacies are offering the vaccine to all health and social care staff working in residential/nursing care homes or providing care in people’s own homes.
The aim is to protect those who are most at risk of serious illness or death should they develop flu by offering vaccination to those who care for these vulnerable individuals. The free flu vaccine provides the best protection against the unpredictable nature of the flu virus and can help to reduce the spread amongst care homes.
Dr Robert Jaggs–Fowler, Medical Director for the CCG, explained, “People working in care homes and in the care professions can protect themselves, their families and those they care for all at the same time by having the free flu vaccination from their GP. It’s a really important thing to do if you care for people that are already vulnerable, as flu can cause serious health problems for the elderly and those who have existing health conditions. If you are eligible for the free vaccination, then please see your registered GP and ask about attending the practice’s flu clinic; thereby playing your part in helping to stop the flu virus spreading this winter.”
The flu vaccine is available to health and social care staff employed by a registered residential care/nursing home or registered domiciliary care provider, who are directly involved in the care of vulnerable patients/clients who are at increased risk from exposure to influenza, meaning those patients/clients in a clinical risk group or aged 65 years and over.
Residential care/nursing home or registered domiciliary care providers includes the independent sector, third sector and local authority providers. People will be required to provide identification that demonstrates they work in a designated direct care environment, caring for at risk patients.
The flu vaccination is part of the Stay Well This Winter campaign, a joint initiative from NHS England and Public Health England, to help the public ward off common winter illnesses. For more information please visit www.nhs.uk/staywell