GWH staff become first flu fighters

Posted: October 3, 2017

Countless staff have had the flu jab so far

Staff at the Great Western Hospital are to become the first to fight the flu this winter by having the annual vaccine.

This week, countless staff will be lining up to receive the flu jab, which is deemed by experts to be the most effective defence against the flu virus.
Many teams at GWH and in the community also have their own peer vaccinator, a trained member of staff who has volunteered to give colleagues the flu jab. 
Free flu jabs have been offered to all Trust staff for many years now, but this year it is even more important to get vaccinated at the earliest opportunity.
The bad flu season in Australia and New Zealand, with 70,000 cases in Australia alone, indicates the UK could be hit by a similar outbreak in the coming months.
The proactive response by patient-facing staff to get the flu jab early not only significantly reduces the risk of flu spreading across the hospital, but also reduces the risk to those close to them at home.
Dr Guy Rooney, Medical Director, said: "The flu jab is so important, especially as it looks like it will be a bad winter.
"We need to protect our friends, our family, and our patients from this deadly virus as soon as possible."
Flu jab clinics will continue to run for all hospital staff over the coming weeks, with community clinics being held for those people providing care in patients' own homes and at other locations across Swindon.
Flu can hit quickly and severely, with symptoms of a fever, chills, headaches, a cough and sore throat hitting even the fittest of people.
Complications from the flu can even lead to more serious illnesses such as bronchitis and pneumonia.
The vaccine 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, and certain groups of people are able to have the vaccine for free.
For more information, see the NHS choices website pages on flu and the flu vaccine:

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