As the weather is set to turn, Skills for Care is calling on adult social care employers to help them encourage their staff and those who use their services to get a free flu jab this winter.
The Department of Health and Social Care (DHSC) states that frontline health and social care workers should be provided with flu vaccinations by their employer. Those who support people who are eligible for a free flu jab, such as people aged over 65, people with a range of eligible medical conditions, or those living in residential or hospice care, are also being advised to encourage them to get a free flu jab.
Flu can be more severe for certain people, such as anyone aged 65 or over and people with an underlying health condition. People in these risk groups are more likely to develop serious complications of flu, such as pneumonia - the UK Government estimates that an average of 8,000 people die from the virus in the UK each year. It’s important that they get the flu jab every year to help protect them.
Frontline care staff often work with people who are in these risk groups, so getting a flu jab can help to prevent the virus spreading and ensure a healthy workforce this winter. With an average recovery time of between one-two weeks, reducing sickness leave from the flu can save employers between £875-1751 per employee.
Tips to raise awareness with your staff
- Download free posters and postcards from Public Health England to promote the free flu jab with staff in your service.
- Put a poster up in your staffroom.
- Encourage staff to wear a sticker when they’ve had a flu jab, to raise awareness.
- Highlight the importance of having a flu jab in team meetings, supervisions and other opportunities.
- Nominate a champion who supports the campaign and reminds colleagues in the workplace.
- Post about the flu jab on social media.
- Include an article about the flu jab in your staff newsletter.
Tips to raise awareness with people who use your service and families
- Download free posters and postcards from Public Health England to promote the free flu jab to the people you support and their families.
- Talk to the people you support and their families about getting the free flu jab – this could be as a part of a care plan review or one-to-one conversations.
- Put a poster up on your workplace noticeboard.
- Include information about the flu jab in your newsletter.
- Consider how you can support the people who use your service to access a flu jab, if needed.