Bury St Edmunds: ‘Chew for the flu’ campaign to be launched

STAFF at the West Suffolk Hospital, in Bury St Edmunds, are being urged to help protect themselves, their families and their patients by getting a “chew for the flu” in the run up to the winter.

The trust-wide flu fighter campaign is set to begin on Monday.

During the coming weeks, the hospital will encourage as many staff as possible to receive the vaccination, so that the impact of flu on patients and services can be reduced.

Those who have the jab will also receive a sticker and a chewy sweet, donated by the Friends of West Suffolk Hospital to give staff a light-hearted reward of a “chew for the flu”.

Along with her vaccination team, occupational health nurse advisor Elaine Ramsden, who is better known around the hospital as the “flu fairy”, will be visiting the wards to give flu jabs on the spot.

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The team will also be stationed in central areas, such as the staff restaurant, to catch people during their breaks.

For the second consecutive year, Mrs Ramsden will be borrowing a shopping trolley from Asda to carry equipment such as sharps, vaccines and consent forms, in turn helping her make a whistle-stop tour of the hospital.

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“Every year, we aim to vaccinate as many staff as we possibly can,” said Mrs Ramsden.

“As well as protecting them, having the jab also reduces the chances of their patients, colleagues and families from contracting the illness.

“Last year we vaccinated 53% of our frontline staff, which is above the national average.

“We’re hoping to reach even more people this year and have ordered 1,600 doses of the vaccine.

“As so many staff joked that they’d like a sweetie after having the jab last autumn, the Friends have also kindly given us 1,600 sweets so that staff are rewarded with a ‘chew for the flu’.”

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