NHS in Sussex wins award for flu campaign
28 March 2019

Sussex Community recognised as a national leader in flu vaccination

Sussex Community NHS Foundation Trust (SCFT) has been recognised as one of the top performing NHS trusts in the country following a successful campaign to increase staff flu vaccinations.

SCFT, which is the leading provider of NHS community services in Sussex, trained more than 50 peer vaccinators as part of its Protecting Together campaign. The peer vaccinators are nurses who give themselves and colleagues the vaccination – making it easier for more people to have the jab, no matter where they work.

SCFT was one of five NHS trusts to be recognised at the national Flu Fighter Awards, hosted by NHS Employers on Monday 25 March.  

It was the top performing NHS organisation in Sussex, according to the latest data release by Public Health England.

Siobhan Melia, Chief Executive at SCFT, said: “A huge amount of hard work has gone into improving our vaccination rates and I’d like to thank everyone involved in the campaign over the last few years – the improvement has been phenomenal.

“I would like to publicly thank the thousands of people from all over our organisation that got involved in our award-winning flu vaccination campaign.

“In particular I would like to thank our peer vaccinators, members of staff who volunteered to vaccinate their colleagues and whose hard work was the foundation of our success.”

The Trust increased the proportion of clinical staff it vaccinated to 79.4% - making it the most improved NHS community provider in the entire country. In total 2,358 people working in clinical roles were vaccinated.

Last year SCFT achieved a vaccination rate of 73.5%, up from 54% in 2016 and 43% in 2015.

Judges for the Flu Fighter Awards praised SCFT's campaign. They said: "The winning trust [SCFT] demonstrated outstanding performance in all seven elements in their comprehensive staff-facing campaign.

"From the onset they developed a clear vision of #ProtectingTogether, which tied into their culture and values as a trust. This targeted communications strategy not only effectively engaged their workforce but also emphasises the profound duty of care to get the flu vaccine.

"The comprehensive training programme for peer vaccinators saw an impressive increase of 70 peer vaccinators across the trust. Evidence-based myth busting, targeted social media and live resources helped reduce negativity around the jab and ensured flu messages were spread as far and wide as possible."

Pictured above from left to right: Ruth Warden, NHS Employers, Sarah Quelch-Harrison, Occupational Health Specialist Practitioner, Fiona Long, Professional Head of Nursing, Paul Somerville, Senior Communications Manager and Daniel Mortimer, Chief Executive of NHS Employers.

You can find out more information about the Flu Fighter Awards here.