As we start 2018, it’s worth remembering that we still have a couple of months of winter to endure. With this in mind, it’s still important to think about winter business continuity provision which includes ensuring staff have had their flu immunisation. As social care staff don’t necessarily have the luxury of time off over Christmas and New Year to rest and recuperate, they may be vulnerable to picking up viruses as we plough on through winter.
Flu immunisation for social care staff
Public Health England has published guidance specifically for social care providers on flu immunisation of social care staff.
The guidance details the benefits of providing staff with flu vaccinations and how vaccination of staff has been shown to be effective in reducing disease spread and patient mortality in a care setting. It can also help to ensure people continue to receive care at home by reducing staff flu related illness and absences.
The guide can be found here: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/flu-immunisation-for-social-care-staff
Flu Fighter Programme
NHS Employers has been supporting NHS trusts around flu vaccinations and these can now be accessed by social care employers.
They have been co-ordinating the staff focused flu fighter programme in the NHS for 7 years. It has a range of resources and support materials for employers to use. Following discussions with the Department of Health it also now has a social care strand. The overall aim is to provide support and materials which can be used by employers to help raise the profile of the flu vaccination and increase the flu vaccination uptake with staff.
There is no cost to download free printable posters, and be recognised for any work or improvements made in this area. Through the virtual network NHS Employers have created there is also an opportunity for social care employers to connect with each other, raise any issues and look at resolving any common barriers.
Any social care employer/organisation or local council is welcome to join the flu fighter mailing list or ask for support by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org