2018/2019 flu season
You can personally help protect yourself and the people you care for.
In the North of England, NHS England and Public Health England have come together to set up an award scheme to recognise the efforts made by care homes (residential & nursing), hospices and domiciliary care providers, who have achieved a high level of flu vaccine uptake. This includes all health and social care staff who are directly involved in the care of vulnerable people who are at increased risk from exposure to influenza. Vulnerable means those people in a clinical risk group for flu, or who are aged 65 years or over.
The flu jab helps to protect you from catching flu and it also reduces the risk of you passing the virus on to the people you care for. People with a long-term condition or disability are at an increased risk of catching flu and could develop complications and become seriously ill as a result.
Flu and its complications are one of the main reasons that people get admitted to hospital from the Care Sector, particularly during winter. Protecting individuals and populations through immunisation programmes is a highly successful public health intervention that saves many lives each year. Influenza kills an average of 8,000 people in England every year. If more of us get the jab, we are giving ourselves and those we care for the best protection against an unpredictable virus.
All frontline health and social care workers should have the flu vaccine to help protect vulnerable patients and clients, who may not make a good immune response to their own flu vaccine.
We would urge employers to continue their efforts to protect their staff and those they care for by encouraging frontline social care staff to be immunised. They can do this by accessing local schemes that are already in place or, if they are eligible as they are in one of the at-risk groups or other groups identified in the Annual Flu Letter 2018 -19, by going to their own GP practice or any pharmacy.
Based on the percentage of staff in receipt of a flu vaccine before the end of March 2019, the award of a certificate will be presented based upon the uptake set out below:
- 70% of staff or above – Gold accreditation
- 60-69% of staff – Silver accreditation
- 50-59% of staff – Bronze accreditation
As we will be expecting individual organisations to self-report their staff flu uptake levels, it is important that you capture the following information:
- organisation name, address and contact details
- number of eligible staff
- number of staff vaccinated
- percentage of staff vaccinated
Please note that regardless of where health and social care staff receive their vaccine, it can be counted in your return.
The process for submitting your application for your award is as follows:
Please submit the information requested in the 4 bullet points above via the following email addresses (note that that there are different email addresses depending upon geographical areas across the region).
Applications must be submitted by 31 March 2019 to:
- Cumbria and North East region via email@example.com
- Greater Manchester via firstname.lastname@example.org
- Humber, Coast & Vale, West Yorkshire and South Yorkshire & Bassetlaw via email@example.com
- Lancashire & South Cumbria via firstname.lastname@example.org
- Cheshire, Merseyside, Warrington & Wirral via email@example.com
Should you require further information, please contact your respective Independent Care Sector Leads as below:
Lancashire & South Cumbria:
Annlouise Stephens at firstname.lastname@example.org
Cheshire, Merseyside, Warrington & Wirral:
Suzanne Noon at email@example.com
Humber, Coast & Vale, West Yorkshire and South Yorkshire & Bassetlaw:
Emma Hidayat at firstname.lastname@example.org
Greater Manchester Health and Social Care Partnership:
Janine Dyson at email@example.com
Durham, Darlington, Easington, Sedgefield & Tees, Hambleton, Richmondshire & Whitby, Northumberland, Tyne and Wear and North Cumbria:
Ken Haggerty and Kathryn Dimmick at firstname.lastname@example.org or email@example.com