Kung flu fighting by a quarter of staff at GWH

Posted: October 18, 2016

Staying protected ahead of colder winter months

Staff at the Great Western Hospital have struck first in the annual battle against winter illnesses with more than a quarter of workers having the flu jab in the last two weeks.  

Since the beginning of October, 1,125 staff with a patient-facing role at the Swindon hospital have had the vaccine, which is considered by experts to be the most effective form of defence against the flu virus. 

This proactive response to staying healthy during the colder winter months not only puts the Trust in a strong position to meet its target of vaccinating 75 per cent of clinical staff, but also means the risk of flu spreading across the hospital is significantly reduced. 

Dr Guy Rooney, Medical Director, said: "Every year I'm always very impressed to see so many of our staff come forward to protect themselves, their family and their patients against flu. 

"In our line of work, we often see the devastating effects that flu can have on some people, such as the elderly, young children and those with existing medical conditions. 

"It's our job to be ready and able to treat everyone who needs our help during the colder months of the year and the flu jab is just one way for us to have an advantage over the impact of winter." 

Flu jab clinics will continue to run for all hospital staff over the coming weeks, with community clinics for those people providing care in patients' own homes and at other locations across Swindon also being held. 

Much more than just a common cold, flu has the potential to keep even the fittest person in bed with symptoms such as a high fever, aching muscles, a dry cough and headaches for anything up to a week. 

In some cases, flu can lead to more serious conditions such as pneumonia and bronchitis which often require hospital treatment. 

The vaccine works by exposing a person to a deactivated strain of flu, which then allows their body's immune system to build up the necessary defences needed to fight the virus. 

It is considered to be the most reliable form of protection and, despite popular beliefs, cannot cause flu. 

The jab is widely available from GP surgeries, pharmacies and some supermarkets, with certain groups of people able to have vaccine for free. 

For more information, visit the flu pages at www.nhs.uk

Translate this page: