In just seven days, 1,490 nurses, doctors and other health professionals have volunteered to get their flu jab at Doncaster and Bassetlaw Teaching Hospitals (DBTH).
The Trust, which runs three hospitals in the region as well as outpatient services at various community sites, is on a mission to vaccinate all colleagues directly involved in patient care and treatment. No stranger to tackling the winter illness, DBTH has been amongst the first acute NHS providers to vaccinate 75 per cent of front-line staff against the illness for three-years running.
The hospital’s flu campaign is currently being led by a dedicated team of vaccinators from across a variety of specialities and services within the Trust, with support from the Trust’s Chief Executive, Richard Parker OBE, and Director of Nursing, Midwifery and Allied Health Professionals, David Purdue.
Since Tuesday 1 October, the team have worked tirelessly visiting wards and departments in order to give medics and clinicians easy access to the vaccine. Achievements in the first week have included one vaccinator giving 40 jabs in as many minutes, in addition to two colleagues administering 100 vaccinations in the morning and afternoon, respectively.
This ‘all hands on deck’ model, which has proven highly effective over the past three years, is seeing success once again with a ground-swell of support from the team, so much so that in just one week, the organisation has run out of vaccines and is currently waiting on an order for more.
Each year, in order to help promote the availability of the jab, the Trust takes on cinematic inspiration, with this year’s flu vaccination campaign nodding towards Hanna-Barbera’s ‘Scooby Doo’. Dubbed ‘Scooby Flu’, a handful of vaccinators have donned wigs and costumes, recreating the iconic cartoon’s 60s inspired cast in a number of posters, social media graphics and a soon-to-be released music video.
David Purdue, Deputy Chief Executive and Director of Nursing, Midwifery and Allied Health Professionals at the DBTH, said: “Once again, the team has shown real commitment to getting their flu jab, going above and beyond, our already high, expectations. As a Trust, ensuring colleagues have access to flu vaccination is incredibly important and I’m very pleased to see such enthusiasm once again this year and thank our team of vaccinators.
“Last year, we vaccinated around 4,000 members of staff, with our vaccinators named ‘Team of the Year’ by NHS Employers for their efforts. I am confident that we’re on course for another successful flu vaccination campaign, which, importantly, will help us to reduce the impact of the flu virus both in our hospitals and in the communities we serve.”
Throughout October, the Trust will continue to vaccinate its frontline workforce to further reduce the risk of hospital patients contracting flu this winter. Visitors can also help in the fight against flu and other winter illnesses by not coming to the Trust to see relatives and friends in hospital if they have flu and cold symptoms such as fever, chills, headache, cough, body aches and fatigue.
Flu can cause a range of illnesses from mild to severe, even among healthy people. People aged 65 and over, pregnant women, anyone with diabetes, chest or heart conditions and others in at-risk groups are advised to ask their GP about having the flu vaccine.