Increasing Health and Social Care Worker Flu Vaccinations: Five Components

The 2021/22 flu letter recommends flu vaccination for frontline health and social care workers. This should be provided by their employer as part of the organisation’s policy for the prevention of the transmission of flu to help protect staff, their families, and those that they care for.

Employers of health and social care workers are responsible for providing occupational flu vaccinations. This includes: NHS organisations, independent contractors, local authorities, and private and voluntary sector employers of health and social care staff. Immunisation should be provided by occupational health services, infection prevention and control teams, or using arrangements with private healthcare providers.

These pages provide information for NHS Trusts and social care organisations on the importance of vaccinating frontline health and social care workers, obligations of employers, evidence of the effectiveness of staff flu vaccination programmes and guidance on how to plan a best practice staff flu vaccination programme.

There are differences between the way NHS trust and social care organisations are funded for vaccinating their staff and differences in the delivery. However, there are five key components of developing an effective staff flu vaccination programme that apply to both NHS trusts and social care organisations.

  1. committed leadership
  2. a balanced flu team,
  3. a good communications plan
  4. easy access to vaccination
  5. the use of incentives and rewards.

Although the five components can be used by all organisations, information specific to social care organisations can be found via the links below.

Committed leadership: A successful staff flu vaccination programme is driven from the top.
Balanced flu team: When developing a staff flu vaccination campaign it is important to involve as many different types of staff as possible to ensure good representation.
Communications plan: An effective communications plan is vital for successful take up of the flu vaccination among frontline workers. All organisations are different, so it is important to tailor your strategy to your organisation.
Easy access to vaccination: Working in health and social care is not a 9 to 5 job and neither is it always based on the one site and many staff who want a vaccination just can’t get to a clinic in core hours.  Access needs to be flexible.
Incentives and rewards: Staff appreciate recognition for their contributions to the health of others and including an incentive or reward aspect to a staff flu vaccination programme can be effective.