In her regular blog, chief executive Julie Gillon has talked about the importance of all staff being immunised against the flu, ahead of the winter.
“This year we have set ourselves a challenge – to vaccinate as many of our staff as possible during the first two weeks of October. So far this week we have already had a great deal of support from staff. Our team of flu champions have been out in force, vaccinating staff across Stockton and Hartlepool to make sure staff in hospital and in the community are protected.
“As the cold weather approaches, it’s really important we take all precautions possible to protect ourselves and our patients. Last year was the busiest year on record – we had a large amount of very poorly patients, many of them with flu-type symptoms. We are expecting another very challenging winter period across the region and we need to act now to make sure we are prepared. It also takes a couple of weeks after getting the vaccination to get immunity, so we’re encouraging staff to get it early so we are ready.
“While I know I am at risk of repeating the same message as last year I want to make it clear that the flu jab cannot give you the flu! It is not a live vaccine so it is impossible to catch flu by having the vaccine.
“Flu can be serious and even fatal, even for normally fit and well people, so that’s why the campaign is so important to protect ourselves and our patients.
“People can often make the mistake of thinking they’re fit and healthy so flu won’t affect them, but flu has claimed hundreds of lives in recent years.
“It’s very important for our staff to get the vaccination to minimise the risks of developing the flu when they’re exposed to patients who have flu themselves and to prevent themselves carrying the flu virus to others including their friends, family, other patients and relatives.”