Staff who work with frail and elderly people in care homes across Mansfield, Ashfield, Newark and Sherwood are receiving extra information this year to encourage them to get a free flu jab.
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. If the staff who are caring for them also get the flu jab it can greatly decrease their chances of passing it onto their vulnerable patients.
To tackle this, for the first time Nottinghamshire County Council is funding the Nottinghamshire Alliance of Training Hubs to go out and about to care homes to reinforce why it is so important to get the jab and bust some myths along the way. For example some people do not realise that:
- The flu vaccine cannot give you flu
- You have to be vaccinated every year as the flu strain changes every year
Lisa Hodgkinson, Independent Care Sector Specialist Nurse at Nottinghamshire Alliance of Training Hubs said: “The response has been fantastic. Just a little bit of information can make a massive difference on people’s perceptions. I have had a big increase in responses to say that people will be having the free flu vaccination.”
Councillor Tony Harper, Chair of Adult Social Care and Public Health Committee at Nottinghamshire County Council said: “We want front line staff to realise how important they are in stopping flu spreading to the most vulnerable members of our community. That’s why we’ve taken this extra step to fund this additional activity and we hope it will mean that more staff choose to get vaccinated.”
This is one of a number of joint projects taking place across the Mid-Nottinghamshire Integrated Care Partnership (ICP). This is 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.
Sessions have been delivered at care homes from September as well as at some key events.
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.
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