The flu vaccine programme is being extended to staff in hospices this flu season, following discussions between NHS England and Hospice UK.
Last year NHS England provided additional funding for the vaccine to be delivered to social care workers caring directly for patients. This will continue in 2018/19 and will be extended to clinical staff who are directly involved in the care of patients who are vulnerable to flu.
The scheme is intended to complement, not replace established occupational health schemes that employers have in place offering flu vaccinations to their workforce.
Employers are urged to continue to protect their staff and most vulnerable patients and clients by encouraging frontline social care staff to be immunised. They can do this by accessing local schemes that are already in place, or if they are eligible as being in one of the at-risk groups, by going to their GP practice or any pharmacy.
The extension of the vaccine will be available to health and social care staff employed by residential care homes, nursing homes, domiciliary care providers and hospices who are directly involved in the care of vulnerable patients at increased risk from exposure to influenza. Vulnerable means those patients in a clinical risk group for flu or who are aged 65 years and over.
NHS England is encouraging all frontline local authority staff to be vaccinated, and to support and promote flu vaccination.
Flu outbreaks can cause severe disruption to health and social care services in the winter months. For more information email NHS England