Flu jab 2019
Lots of people who use and work in adult social care services are at risk of flu this winter. The vaccine is available on the NHS to protect people at risk of flu and its complications.
We’re calling on adult social care employers to help us to encourage their staff and people who use their service to get a free flu jab.
This webpage shares information about who’s eligible and how to access a free flu jab, and links to practical resources to help you to remind and encourage people to get the jab before flu season starts.
The Department of Health and Social Care states that frontline health and social care workers should be provided with flu vaccinations by their employer. This should complement any existing occupational health and/or wellbeing schemes.
You can make arrangements to have flu jabs carried out in the workplace, arranged through a private healthcare provider or you can purchase vouchers for your staff to use at participating pharmacies.
If you support people who are eligible for a free flu jab, such as people aged over 65, people with a range of eligible medical conditions, or those living in residential or hospice care, it’s also good practice to encourage them to get a free flu jab.
Why is it important?
Flu can be more severe for certain people, such as anyone aged 65 or over and people with an underlying health condition. People in these risk groups are more likely to develop serious complications of flu, such as pneumonia - the UK Government estimates that an average of 8,000 people die from the virus in the UK each year. It’s important that they get the flu jab every year to help protect them.
Frontline care staff often work with people who are in these risk groups, so getting a flu jab can help to prevent the virus spreading and ensure that you keep a healthy workforce this winter. With an average recovery time of between one-two weeks, reducing sickness leave from the flu can save you between £875-1751 per employee.
Who should get the flu jab?
The flu jab is routinely given on the NHS to people in risk groups such as:
- adults aged 65 and over
- people with certain medical conditions, such as those with chronic long-term respiratory disease, liver disease, neurological disease, a learning disability or a weakened immune system
- people living in long-term residential care
- frontline health and social care workers who support people at risk.
You can read more about who’s eligible for a free flu jab here.
NICE have developed a quality standard to help increase the uptake the flu vacination among people who are eligible. Click here to access the standard.
Tips to raise awareness with staff
- Download free posters and postcards from Public Health England, here, to promote the free flu jab with staff in your service.
- Put a poster up in your staffroom - you can download posters here.
- Encourage staff to wear a sticker when they’ve had a flu jab, to raise awareness.
- Highlight the importance of having a flu jab in team meetings, supervisions and other opportunities.
- Nominate a champion who supports the campaign and reminds colleagues in the workplace.
- Post about the flu jab on social media – you can download images and animations to use on social media here.
- Include an article about the flu jab in your staff newsletter.
Tips to raise awareness with people who use your service and families
- Download free posters and postcards from Public Health England, here, to promote the free flu jab to the people you support and their families.
- Talk to the people you support and their families about getting the free flu jab – this could be as a part of a care plan review or one-to-one conversations.
- Put a poster up on your workplace noticeboard.
- Include information about the flu jab in your newsletter.
- Consider how you can support the people who use your service to access a flu jab, if needed.