Flu occurs every winter in the UK and is a key factor in NHS winter pressures. It impacts on those who become ill, the NHS services that provide direct care, and on the wider health and social care system that supports people in at-risk groups.
Flu vaccination is available every year on the NHS to help protect adults and children at risk of flu and its complications.
Flu can be unpleasant, but if you are otherwise healthy it will usually clear up on its own within a week.
However, flu can be more severe in certain people, such as:
- anyone aged 65 and over
- pregnant women
- children and adults with an underlying health condition (particularly long-term heart or respiratory disease)
- children and adults with weakened immune systems
Anyone in these risk groups is more likely to develop potentially serious complications of Flu, such as pneumonia (a lung infection), so it's recommended that they have a flu vaccine every year to protect them.
The injected flu vaccine is offered free on the NHS annually to:
- adults over the age of 18 at risk of flu (including everyone aged 65 and over)
- pregnant women
- children aged six months to two years at risk of flu
Please consult you GP Surgery if you want more information about your local vaccination program.
Hospital Staff play a key role preventing the spread of Flu. 77% of people infected with Flu have no symptoms but are still capable of passing the virus around.
At James Paget University Hospital the uptake of the Flu vaccine was below the national average. In 2015 only 43% of staff were vaccinated against Flu, but a real effort was made in 2016 to increase this percentage and in 2017 we're aiming to ensure more of our staff than ever before have the vaccine.
To make the flu clinics more accessible we have created 'Sunrise', 'Sunset' and lunchtime clinics where staff can visit before or after their shift. In addition to these we have also created mobile clinics, where we go to wards to vaccinate staff on the spot.