Dedicated health staff from across Pennine Care join the FLUperheroes to protect patients

Over 2,250 community health staff have rolled up their sleeves to protect local people from flu.

They have received their vaccine as part of Pennine Care NHS Foundation Trust’s annual staff vaccination programme, which aims to protect patients, staff and loved ones.

Flu is highly infectious and can easily spread. For most people, it is an uncomfortable illness that can come on quite suddenly and severely.  However, for vulnerable people, such as children, the elderly and those with long-term health conditions or a weakened immune system, flu can lead to severe infections, complications and even death. 

Evidence shows that up to a quarter of healthcare professionals may become infected with flu, even during a mild season. Having the flu vaccine can help to stop the spread of flu, which is why Pennine Care offers a free vaccine to every single member of staff – regardless of level or role. 

This year, Pennine Care has refreshed its awareness raising campaign and launched a new FLUperhero theme. 

This has been positively received by staff across the Trust, who have been sharing pictures on social media using #ImaFLUperhero. There is a dedicated photo album on Pennine Care’s Facebook page at: www.facebook.com/penninecareNHSFT    

Carolyn Brennan, Associate Directorate Manager in Bury said: “Having an annual flu programme is really great. I personally feel it shows our patients and service users that we really care.”

“Flu can be so severe to vulnerable people in our communities and getting vaccinated is a great way to reduce the likelihood of it spreading. It’s really important we raise the awareness of getting protected, its safe, free and it is over in a second.”

“As I have also had my flu injection, I can say I have joined the fight against flu as a flu fighting fluperhero.”

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Every year, dedicated staff members at Pennine Care volunteer to become flu champions and drive forward the campaign in their division or borough. This is great news for patients, who can be sure that staff are going the extra mile to keep themselves protected and patients safe this winter.

Sarah Brynes is a Community Nurse based at Milnrow Clinic.  She said: “The vaccine aims to protect the most vulnerable people in our communities from getting ill.  By taking part in this annual programme we are standing together to fight flu and its effects.

“With so many drop-in clinics being held at various locations, it couldn’t be easier for people to get vaccinated. I hope everyone joins in the fight against flu and becomes a Pennine Care FLUperhero.”

With many more flu clinics planned between now and Christmas, the number of Pennine Care FLUperheroes is set to rise.

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John Lockett, Staff Nurse in Tameside said: “Having a flu vaccination each year helps to protect me from the risk of developing flu and also provides protection to our service users.”

“I think the FLUperheros is a fantastic programme; and with a number of clinics at various locations it is just so accessible and easy. As someone who comes into regular contact with ill and vulnerable patients, I am joining the fight against flu and encourage everyone else to join in.”

A free flu vaccination is also available free of charge to members of the public who are in an ‘at risk’ group, such as those who are aged over 65, pregnant, or who have a long term condition.  People should speak to their GP if they think they are eligible.

Further information about the flu vaccine, along with a wealth of tips for staying well this winter, is available at www.nhs.uk/staywell