Is your service prepared for a flu?
We have worked with the local NHS and Public Health England to create some helpful resources to support you and your service through this year’s influenza season, likely to last until the end of March. This year, we want to prevent as many cases and outbreaks as possible by providers using all local and national resources.
Make sure that Flu Vaccinations are being promoted to all staff, which is available FREE via there GP or visiting a participating pharmacy. There is an expectation that all front line workers, will also take responsible action and consider having the vaccination so as not to put vulnerable patients at risk.
Why not take part in PHE’s Award for influenza vaccination uptake? Read full details by clicking here.
Please utilise these materials by:
- Discussing and handing out in team meetings
- Displaying and making available in reception areas and staff rooms
- Emailing to staff and families/relatives
- Presenting at client and family/relative meetings
Free flu vaccinations for adult social care staff
Do not forget that NHS England recently confirmed that free flu vaccinations are available in 2018/19 for social care workers who offer direct care to people using services.
Staff can go to their own GP practice or any pharmacy. To prove that they are eligible they will need to take identification with them that shows their names and the name of their employing organisation, such as an ID card or badge, a letter from their employer, or a recent payslip.
NHS Flu Fighter Social Care is a free resource for social care providers to encourage their staff to get a flu vaccination to protect themselves and people using services from the flu virus.
Advice for Service Users with a Learning Disability
Please make sure ALL people you support who have a Learning Disability receive their free Flu vaccine this year. This is critical because, this year, Public Health England has anticipated a particularly virulent strain of the seasonal flu virus and nearly half of deaths in people with Learning Disabilities are respiratory related.
The flu injection is NOT a live vaccine; this means that the person cannot get the Flu from having the vaccine.
If someone will not tolerate an injection, then you can ask for them to have the nasal spray instead. This is only licensed for children and is a live vaccine, but GP’s can prescribe it as an alternative to the injection for any adults with a Learning Disability who will not have the injection. [this is deemed by the NHS to be a reasonable adjustment]
As a care practitioner, you cannot refuse the vaccine on someone else’s behalf unless you hold Lasting Power of Attorney for their health decisions.
If someone is refusing both options, please ensure you can evidence that they had full capacity to make an informed decision to refuse and record how they weighed up the risks and benefits. Remember that it is deemed to be in the best interest of people with a Learning Disability to receive the vaccine, so make sure you have taken every step to achieve this health recommendation.
Please use the easy read information on this page and where someone does not receive the vaccine, please complete the Flu vaccine refusal / consent record [these tool are available at www.hertfordshire.gov.uk/ldmyhealth under the Annual Health Check and Flu section.]
Your local pharmacy can also administer the injection for FREE, if this is a preferred environment. [tick the box stating neurological disorders as the reason for their entitlement]. Please ensure you give permission for the pharmacy to share with the GP practice that this has been given.