Great-grandfather Peter Burrows from Mansfield Woodhouse gets his flu jab every year to stop him getting seriously ill. He has emphysema, a serious condition where the air sacs in the lungs have been damaged, which can make breathing difficult. This year he is urging others to do the same to make sure as many people as possible are protected.
Every year flu causes serious illness and even death. That’s why those over 65, people under 65 with a long term condition, pregnant women and children aged 2-3 are all able to get a vaccination for free from their GP.
Peter said: “Having a chest infection is bad enough for me, I definitely don’t want to get the flu. To me you’d be a fool not to get the jab.”
He retired from his work as an engineer in Oxford 14 years ago and was diagnosed with emphysema eight years ago. But the 75-year-old is still busy, volunteering at the Pulmonary Rehab Clinic at Mansfield Community Hospital, chairing the local Breathe Easy support group for those with lung conditions and spending the rest of his retirement with his wife Patricia, exercising and walking their dog.
The great-grandfather, who has two great-grandchildren, nine grandchildren and three children, knows that having the flu jab not only protects him but protects those patients at the pulmonary rehab clinic every week at Mansfield Community Hospital he comes into contact with.
Because of his emphysema he looks after his health by taking an exercise class every Monday and walking his dog twice a day. He is urging everyone to get the flu vaccination to protect themselves, their loved ones and those who are too sick to be able to get the jab themselves.
He said: “I ask people why they don’t get the jab and sometimes they say ‘it’s because the jab can give you flu’ and I tell them that’s rubbish.
“I have a lot going on and don’t have time to be ill. I also don’t want to pass the flu on to others who may not be well enough to fight it. Getting the jab is a no brainer to me.”
GPs in the Mid-Nottinghamshire Integrated Care Partnership (ICP) are working together this year to focus on vaccinating as many people as possible with the flu jab.
Dr Gavin Lunn, Clinical Chair for Mansfield and Ashfield and GP at Brierley Park Medical Centre in Sutton in Ashfield said: “We know that Australia, which often predicts the UK winter season, has had a bad flu season. We also know that those with respiratory conditions like emphysema and asthma are a major cause for emergency admissions to hospitals in winter. This is why all GPs across Mansfield, Ashfield, Newark and Sherwood are working together to make protecting our populations against flu our priority this winter.”
People should contact their GP if they qualify for a free flu jab. Even if they are not eligible for a free vaccination they can still book a flu jab at some local chemists or supermarkets for a small charge.
Information about flu
Those who are entitled to a free jab are:
- everyone aged 65 and over
- everyone under 65 years of age who has an ‘at risk’ medical condition listed below:
- a heart problem
- a chest complaint or breathing difficulties, including bronchitis, emphysema or severe asthma
- a kidney disease
- lowered immunity due to disease or treatment (such as steroid medication or cancer treatment)
- liver disease
- had a stroke or a transient ischaemic attack (TIA)
- a neurological condition, e.g. multiple sclerosis (MS), cerebral palsy or learning disability
- a problem with their spleen, e.g. sickle cell disease, or have had their spleen removed
- are seriously overweight (BMI of 40 and above)
- Children and babies over six months of age
- all pregnant women, at any stage of pregnancy
- all two- and three- year-old children (provided they were aged two or three years old on 31 August 2019)
- all children in primary school
- everyone living in a residential or nursing home
- everyone who cares for an older or disabled person
- household contacts of anyone who is immunocompromised
- all frontline health and social care workers
Information about Breathe Easy
The Mansfield and Ashfield branch of the Breathe Easy group is part of the British Lung Foundation charity. It provides support for those with lung conditions and meets every second Tuesday at the Towers in Mansfield from 1.30pm-3.30pm. More information is here.
Information about Mid-Nottinghamshire ICP
We are a new partnership of NHS providers, commissioners and local authorities who want to create happier, healthier communities across Mansfield, Ashfield, Sherwood and Newark and reduce differences in healthy life expectancy (the number of years that people live in good general health) by three years.
The area has been divided into six ‘Primary Care Networks’ (known as PCNs) which are led by a GP. These are:
- Ashfield North
- Ashfield South
- Mansfield North
- Mansfield South
We believe we can best support the people living and working in mid-Nottinghamshire by supporting neighborhood’s with what they specifically need while recognising where there are wider needs that sit across the whole of Mid-Nottinghamshire.
Organisations involved in the ICP include:
- Ashfield District Council
- East Midlands Ambulance Service NHS Trust
- GP practices with Mid-Nottinghamshire
- Mansfield and Ashfield Clinical Commissioning Group
- Mansfield District Council
- Newark and Sherwood Clinical Commissioning Group
- Newark and Sherwood District Council
- Nottinghamshire County Council
- Nottinghamshire Healthcare NHS Foundation Trust
If you have any queries about this please contact Kerry Beadling-Barron, Director of Communications and Engagement at Mid-Nottinghamshire ICP on Kerry.firstname.lastname@example.org