Staff and volunteers at Wrightington, Wigan and Leigh NHS Foundation Trust’s (WWL) hospitals and community services have been getting their jab over winter
So far around 2,600 frontline Trust employees – 3,371 staff in total across WWL – have all done their bit to provide safe patient care and protect their patients, colleagues and their families.
WWL’s Occupational Health Team is continuing to visit departments across the Trust’s locations and within community services to get more staff vaccinated, as well as offering reassurance and dispel the myths surrounding the vaccine.
Healthcare workers in hospitals and out in the community are eligible for free quadrivalent jabs – which protects against four strains of flu to provide maximum cover.
Helen Richardson, Chief Nurse at WWL said: “The flu jab is essential protection, not just for vulnerable groups such as the over 65s, young children, pregnant women and those with pre-existing long-term health conditions, but also for the staff and carers who look after them.
“We must always remember that quite a number of people can be at risk of becoming seriously ill should they catch the flu. The flu vaccination cannot give you flu as the vaccine does not contain any live viruses.
“Helping to keep our staff healthy and protecting our patients by preventing the spread of infection is paramount.”
The Trust is also urging local residents to have their flu jab. Here’s some helpful NHS advice:
- People aged over 65, people with long-term health conditions like asthma and diabetes, pregnant women, people with a body mass index (BMI) of over 40 and carers can receive a free flu jab. A nasal flu vaccination is also offered to children free of charge. Parents of toddlers aged two or three can get them vaccinated at their GP surgery. School children from reception up to year 4 receive their vaccination at school, which parents give their consent for.
- Keep warm this winter and help to prevent colds, flu and more serious health problems, such as heart attacks, strokes, pneumonia and depression. Cold weather can be harmful. Heat your home to at least 18°C. Look out for family, friends and neighbours who may be vulnerable over winter.
- Visit nhs.uk/staywell for helpful tips and advice. Locate your nearest pharmacy and read specific information on how to look after yourself if you’re over 65, pregnant, a parent, a carer, or have a long-standing health condition.
- The website at 111.nhs.uk helps people access on-the-spot, immediate healthcare advice with their smartphone, tablet or computer. The online assessment process takes only about three minutes to complete.
- Wherever you live, you’ll be able to get an evening or weekend appointment with a doctor or health professional in your local area (this may not be at your own GP but at one of 50 neighbourhood hub across Greater Manchester). Visit gmhsc.org.uk/moregphours or call your local practice for further information
- Your local pharmacy is your fastest route to care – visit them at the first sign of illness. These over the counter medical experts can help stop conditions like a cough or cold from getting worse. There are ‘100 hour’ high street pharmacies within the region, meaning people have even more access to healthcare advice during the evenings and at the weekend.