Oxfordshire healthcare services start flu vaccinations

Date: 08 October 2018

Dr Edward Capo-Bianco

Oxford University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust (OUH), Oxford Health NHS Foundation Trust and South Central Ambulance Service (SCAS) have kick-started their flu vaccination programmes with their first immunisation clinics.

Healthcare workers in hospitals and out in the community are more likely to be exposed to the flu virus, so the vaccination is offered to NHS staff to help protect them from catching it and passing it on.

OUH, which runs the John Radcliffe Hospital, Churchill Hospital and the Nuffield Orthopaedic Centre in Oxford, as well as the Horton General Hospital in Banbury, exceeded the national target for staff vaccinations last winter.

Oxford Health, which provides physical, mental health and social care for people of all ages across Oxfordshire, Buckinghamshire, Swindon, Wiltshire and Bath and North East Somerset, has a drive to increase vaccination among staff dispersed over a wide area. 

This year staff and patients at Oxford Health have collaborated to produce a fun promotional musical video online to encourage everyone to take part, with cameo appearances by OUH and SCAS staff. 

SCAS, the ambulance service for Buckinghamshire, Oxfordshire, Berkshire and Hampshire, are also working to increase vaccination rates.

OUH and Oxford Health started vaccinating their staff today (8 October), while SCAS began its programme on Friday (5 October).

All three partner organisations are working hard with staff to help them understand the importance of getting vaccinated to protect themselves and their patients.

Influenza is a highly transmissible infection and can be passed on even if the person has no symptoms – 77 percent of people with flu are unaware they have the illness and OUH has produced a video promoting better understanding of this

This year’s vaccine will cover four strains of flu instead of three, providing staff with a more comprehensive cover than last year.

Sam Foster, Chief Nurse at Oxford University Hospitals, said: “We take the health and wellbeing of our staff and service users very seriously, and last winter we vaccinated 70 percent of our frontline staff.

“We want this figure to be as high as possible, and to achieve this we are taking steps to ensure that having a flu vaccination is as easy as possible.

“We have eight locations across our four hospitals where staff can receive their vaccination, in addition to our roving flu champion teams.

“I am having my flu jab because it’s vitally important to protect our patients, our colleagues and our own families.

“This will maximise our chances of making sure that we keep our services safe over winter – our busiest period.”

Director of Nursing and Clinical Standards at Oxford Health, Ros Alstead OBE said: “We’re encouraging our staff to protect our patients and each other by having their flu jabs.

“Many of our staff have theirs locally and our aim this year is to get better reporting as well as higher levels of vaccination to ensure we all stay well this winter.”

Professor Helen Young, Executive Director of Patient Care and Service Transformation at SCAS, said: “Every year, SCAS focuses significant time and resources making it as easy as possible for staff to get their flu vaccination at all times of day and night with vaccination clinics held at all of our operational bases and corporate offices.

“Our emergency 999 and patient transport service staff interact with some very unwell patients and those with serious medical conditions, so the vaccine is crucial to protect such patients from the life-threatening complications flu can bring, and minimise the risk of staff unwittingly passing on the flu bug to them.

“I’m delighted that such a large number of our staff have the flu vaccine, as I do, every year. This also demonstrates their commitment to ensure our 999, NHS 111 and patient transport service can be operated as efficiently and effectively as possible during the peak period of winter demand.”


  • Summary:

    Oxfordshire healthcare services start staff flu vaccinations

  • Transformation:
  • Date:
    08 October 2018