Healthcare workers urged to get the jab

North Somerset Council is urging all healthcare workers to get their free flu jab and help avoid outbreaks this winter.

Last year saw high numbers of flu outbreaks in care homes, and North Somerset Council is urging all health and social care staff to receive their flu vaccination to protect the most vulnerable people in our community.

The council is asking care homes to:
– encourage all staff to take up the free flu vaccine – to protect patients and staff
– ensure that all eligible residents are encouraged to have the free flu vaccine
– remind visitors to stay away if they have flu-like-symptoms and when visiting to practise good hand hygiene to avoid the spread of infection.

Flu is very different from a normal cold and confines the fittest of people to bed. For older people or those with long-term health conditions, the effects of flu can be much more serious, and in some cases even fatal.

Vaccination helps to reduce spread to the wider public and demand on the health system at a time when services are already under pressure.

Matt Lenny, Director of Public Health at North Somerset Council said: “We are committed to ensuring our community continues to be healthy, and we are working closely with our health partners to ensure that care home staff and residents stay well this winter. In the case of an outbreak, we have strict protocol to ensure the virus is managed and affects as few people as possible.”

Caroline Carter, manager of Sycamore Lodge care home in Nailsea said: “Our residents are vulnerable and we know if they catch flu, the consequences could be much more severe than in a healthy adult. This is really distressing for the resident and their family, so we are encouraging all residents and staff to protect themselves and others by taking up the offer of a free flu vaccine.”