Running a flu fighter campaign with energy

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Joan Pons

Hi, my name is Joan and I have for the first time ever taken on board the flu fighter campaign at my trust. What a challenge! Similar to other years at James Paget University Hospital, the uptake for the flu vaccine was 39 per cent last year. 

This year I was determined to do better. Following an extensive staff survey it became obvious that we were fighting against two problems:

  • There are a lot of myths and bad press circulating about flu and this stopped a lot of staff getting vaccinated. 
  • Lack of accessibility to the clinics due to increase staff workload and impossibility to leave their clinical areas.

This year we have created an awareness campaign trying to touch the care and compassionate side that staff in NHS have. For that reason we have shared personal stories from staff which said why they have had the flu jab. 

We wanted to to create a more positive culture surrounding the flu vaccine and make the jab fun. We created a flu fighter theme and staff had to dress up and take a picture with a selfie frame. This was a huge success. So far we've had Cowboys, Halloween, Bonfire Night, I’m a flu virus GET ME OUT OF HERE’ as well as a Christmas theme. We have also used social media and staff bulletins to publish pictures and create momentum. The flu fighter wall of fame at the canteen had all of the staff's photographs hanging from the walls which certainly sparked conversation.

So far, the strategy is paying off and people are talking about the photographs. Interestingly, it has given a sense of pride among staff as their pictures are used on social media and the internal bulletins. We also adopted the hashtag #ProtectYourSelfie which is really picking up on social media. Some of the material has been seen by over 20,000 people.

To make the flu clinics more accessible we have created sunrise, sunset and moon walk clinics which staff can visit before or after their shift. We have situated the clinic just next to the hospital's main entrance, and have mobile clinics where we go to wards to vaccinate staff on the spot.

So far this campaign is managing to create a positive momentum and people are talking about flu. In just three weeks, we have managed to vaccinate nearly as many staff as we did during last year’s whole campaign and the clinics are still as busy! On a couple of occasions I had even ran out of vaccines because over under estimated the demand and momentum.

As of 31 December 2016 we have vaccinated 65.7 per cent of staff, which is more than expected.

If you want to have a look at our materials visit our website or you can email me Joan.Pons-Laplana@jpaget.nhs.uk 

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