Influenza (flu) flu is an acute viral infection which can spread rapidly. Common complications of flu can be bronchitis and/or pneumonia which can be fatal in some vulnerable client groups. Globally, each year up to 650,000 people die due to respiratory diseases linked to seasonal flu (World Health Organisation 2020). In England 8,000 people on average die of flu each year –although in some years, deaths have exceeded 20,000 (Public Health England, 2019). 
2020 has been an unprecedented year, especially for health and social care workers. Those working in the independent and public care sectors have witnessed people they care for on a daily basis die due to SARS-CoV-2 infection. Early UK data has also shown the risk of death is more than twice as likely for those who have both flu and COVID-19 (Iacobucci 2020). 
 
The flu vaccine is the best and safest way to prevent and control the spread of flu. The vaccination not only offers protection to the person having the vaccine, but also helps reduce the spread of the virus to our most vulnerable population groups. Within Nottingham and Nottinghamshire, the aim has been to ensure the most vulnerable of populations have the flu vaccine as early in the season as possible and to increase the uptake of the free flu vaccination for frontline health and social care staff. 
FLU IMMUNISATION:  
The Training Hub helped to facilitate 3 educational sessions by Primary Care Development Centre (PCDC) for health care professionals who wanted to be involved with a vaccination programme for care home residents across care of the elderly, learning disability and mental health residential and nursing facilities. 79 health care workers which include care home nurses, nurses and midwives from the Bring Back Staff scheme and also health care support workers with the Enhanced Care Response Team attended the sessions. As part of the COVID response, I also signed up to Sherwood Forest Hospitals bank staff. As I was unable to attend the sessions by PCDC, I completed online training during evenings with direction from Linda Petch in order to gain the knowledge for vaccinations. 
 
One of the Bring Back Staff members is a midwife from Lincolnshire. In order to complete her competencies for flu vaccine administration, she travelled all the way from the Grantham area to Mansfield to attend a flu clinic run by one of the GP practices. Following sign-off, she has contributed significantly to the programme and has vaccinated well over 500 care home residents.  
 
FLU EDUCATIONAL SESSION:  
The Training Hub has developed a leaflet detailing the importance of why frontline health and social care staff should have the flu vaccine. This leaflet has also been developed in to an easy read format. In association with Nottinghamshire County Council and Fosse Healthcare a myth-busting video has been developed and published on a number of digital platforms. Within the video are 15 misconceptions about the flu vaccine, along with the factual information to bust the myth. The video has been extremely successful with recommendation for sharing by the Nottingham and Nottinghamshire Integrated Care System flu provider group. To date, the video has had over 2,200 views on YouTube alone. The flu programme has also included development of a “Who Wants to be a Millionaire” quiz for frontline health and social care staff. Presentations were adapted for the audience’s speciality – adult social care services, children’s social care services and for those who work in or alongside the independent care sector. 
 
The aims of the presentation are: 
To understand what flu is and the causes of flu 
To understand the different flu strains 
To identify yearly changes in flu strains 
To identify the complications of flu 
To identify at risk service users 
 
The main goal of the presentation is for frontline health and social care staff to understand the importance of having the free flu vaccination, and to recognise they have a professional duty to protect the people they care for. Questionnaires were completed pre and post sessions to identify people who did not want to have the flu vaccine, or who were unsure about having it. The questionnaires demonstrated that following the sessions there was a 59% decrease in the number of would not have the vaccine and a decrease of 61% for those who were unsure if they would have the flu vaccine. Lowwing are highlights from our Flu Programme: 
 
Flu vaccinations: 
Collaboration of working across the whole ICS 
Bring Back Staff members have been integral for the success of the project 
Assistance across primary care to help reduce the burden for GP staff 
Up skilling of care home nurses 
 
Flu educational sessions: 
Collaborative working with Notts County Council and Fosse Healthcare 
Extremely successful video campaign 
Over 2,200 views of the flu video on YouTube alone 
Requests from external CCG’s to be able to use the video in GP practices 
Sharing of the video through a number of Nottingham and Nottinghamshire ICS members 
Educational leaflet developed for social care staff 
Easy read leaflet also developed 
Who wants to be a Millionaire quiz has helped to influence and change care workers perspective of the flu vaccination 
Interactive sessions have helped to increase the number of people who say they will have the flu vaccine following the sessions 
 
Tagged as: Programme Highlight
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