OK – so we know he’s not a woman, or pregnant! but Lead Midwife Kate Heighway was so keen to talk flu she hijacked Santa into having a funny flu snap. Seems timely as the first flu case has been confirmed at our Trust*.
We received an email into the Flu inbox Flu.CHFT@cht.nhs.uk from Kate who wanted to shout about the success the midwives have had in getting more pregnant ladies to have their jab. She told us that her training for midwives covers lots of detail and that she thought it may help other colleagues at CHFT to know some of the key messages about flu, especially if they were still undecided about having their vaccination.
Kate said “People may need to know a little more before they decide to have their vaccination”.
The vaccine protects against the flu viruses which would cause the largest problem if there was a pandemic.
There have been three pandemics in each of the last three centuries - the last in 2009 when Swine Flu hit and when 36 pregnant women died in the UK. Kate added “The question is when will the next one be, what will it be and where will it emerge? When that happens, where will people go? GPs, hospitals, A&E? I know I don’t want to be the first one to pick it up and take it home to my family.
“And just as importantly I wouldn’t want a pregnant woman to die from flu in this Trust where we’ve not given the appropriate advice or even worse, when she’s picked it up from us!"
“I guess what I’m trying to say is that I learned loads about flu, because as a midwife I need to explain the facts before we vaccinate pregnant woman. I didn’t really know much at all about it before my training – and that’s probably the case for a number of colleagues.
"We’re aiming to get 75% of frontline colleagues vaccinated by the end of the month and that’s because of something called herd immunity. Basically the more people that are protected in the community mean there is some protection for those who aren’t. We will also receive funding from NHS England if we vaccinate enough frontline colleagues.
Take a look at this short film on herd immunity on You Tube (you may need to open in Google Chrome). It’s simple but it uses Gummi Bears as an example – sweet!
* On Tuesday we saw our first laboratory confirmed case of flu at CHFT, which is earlier than previous years, and circulating levels of flu are currently higher than this time last year. The vaccine poses far less risk to anyone than the flu virus does, though it can take a couple of weeks to build up immunity.
CRH drop-ins next week
Tuesday 20 December
2pm - 5pm
Occupational Health Dept
Thursday 22 December
8am - 11am
Occupational Health Dept
Community drop-ins pre-Christmas:
St John’s HC – clinic rooms
Tomorrow Friday 16 December 1pm - 5pm
Monday 19 December 12pm - 4.00pm
Wednesday 21 December 2pm – 5pm
Brighouse HC/Lawson Road
Tuesday 20 December 8am – 11.30am