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 would like more information about your local vaccination programme.
Hospital staff play a key role preventing the spread of flu.
At James Paget University Hospital the uptake of the Flu vaccine in 2015 was below the national average. Only 43% of staff were vaccinated against flu, but a real effort has been made iover the past few years to increase this and last year - 2017-18 -more than 70% of staff had the vaccination, more than ever before.
Now we're working to increase this further in the current 2018-19 season.
To make the flu clinics more accessible we holding special sessions where staff can visit before, during or after their shift.
In addition to these we have also created mobile clinics and have flu champions in wards and departments to vaccinate staff at a convenient time.
Watch our flu video, presented by James Paget Chief Pharmacist Chris Street here;