Every year, the vast majority of unpaid carers miss out on a free flu jab, despite the fact that they are entitled to request one if they are the main carer for someone who is ill or disabled, and whose health would be at risk if they fell ill.
“Unfortunately, many people who care for a partner, relative or friend don’t see themselves as a carer or are far too busy to think about their own health needs,” said Dr Moira Fraser, director of policy at Carers Trust.
“That’s why we’re asking professionals for help in getting the message across to carers that they need to be protected from the flu in the same way that NHS staff and care workers do.”
Heather Richardson, clinical care director at Help the Hospices, is also encouraging hospice staff to consider the Carers Trust advice. She said:
“Hospice staff may want to reflect on the Carers Trust recommendations and apply the advice to the carers they come into contact within their hospices.”
The Carers Trust campaign is also being supported by Public Health England, who have emphasised carers’ entitlement to a free vaccination in the communications pack they have sent out to health and social care organisations across the country. .
The government’s annual flu plan provides a range of downloadable and printable leaflets from the Public Health England website, including advice for those with long term conditions and a breakdown of who should be receiving the vaccination.
There is further advice available on the NHS Carers Direct.