News

Flu jab ‘vital’ for nurses as COVID-19 continues, says England’s chief nursing officer

NHS England letter urges all front-line healthcare staff to help protect workers and patients
Nurse administers the flu jab to another healthcare professional in a bid to protect colleagues and patients and help ease NHS winter pressures

Letter from NHS England leaders urges all front-line healthcare staff to help protect colleagues and patients

Nurses are being urged to have the flu jab this winter in a vaccination drive that NHS leaders are calling the most vital ever undertaken.

A letter co-signed by chief nursing officer for England Ruth May and sent to front-line healthcare workers in England on 16 September says: We strongly urge you to take up the offer of free vaccination against flu as soon as possible; and to remind your patients to get their vaccine.

Protecting colleagues and patients during ongoing COVID-19 pandemic

In a statement, Ms May emphasised the critical role staff play in protecting their colleagues and patients from the flu.

Every year we urge our colleagues to protect themselves, their families and their patients by

Letter from NHS England leaders urges all front-line healthcare staff to help protect colleagues and patients


Picture: Justin Slee

Nurses are being urged to have the flu jab this winter in a vaccination drive that NHS leaders are calling the most vital ever undertaken.

letter co-signed by chief nursing officer for England Ruth May and sent to front-line healthcare workers in England on 16 September says: ‘We strongly urge you to take up the offer of free vaccination against flu as soon as possible; and to remind your patients to get their vaccine.’

Protecting colleagues and patients during ongoing COVID-19 pandemic

In a statement, Ms May emphasised the critical role staff play in protecting their colleagues and patients from the flu.

‘Every year we urge our colleagues to protect themselves, their families and their patients by taking up the free flu jab, and every year more and more do – but this year’s call is the most vital we have ever made,’ she said.

‘The flu has a serious impact on the health of thousands of people every winter, and with the added risk of COVID-19 this year the NHS needs as many of its staff as possible to be fighting fit over the coming months.’

Research suggests flu vaccination reduces healthcare staff sickness by 10%

The joint letter from NHS England leaders to staff says research suggests that a 10% increase in NHS staff vaccination reduces healthcare worker sickness absence by about 10%.

It says while three quarters (74.3%) of NHS staff were vaccinated against flu last winter, NHS England is hoping to increase the figure even further.

Health and social care secretary Matt Hancock, who in a recent interview was seemingly unaware of nurses’ role in the flu vaccination programme, said this week: ‘This year has seen an incredible effort from our doctors, our nurses, our carers and everyone working on the front line to protect us from coronavirus.

‘Now getting a free flu jab this winter will protect them, as well as their patients and the people they care for, at a critical time for our country.’

View our COVID-19 resource centre


In other news

Sign up to continue reading for FREE

OR

Subscribe for unlimited access

Enjoy 1 month's access for £1 and get:

  • Full access to nursing standard.com and the Nursing Standard app
  • Monthly digital edition
  • RCNi Portfolio and interactive CPD quizzes
  • RCNi Learning with 200+ evidence-based modules
  • 10 articles a month from any other RCNi journal

This article is not available as part of an institutional subscription. Why is this?

Jobs