Hello my name is...Sam, mum taxi and 'flu buddy

December is the month we traditonally see the number of 'flu cases start to rise here at CHFT. We're already seeing an increase out in our schools, care homes and local communities. So this is a great time - and just in time for the Christmas party season - to have your vaccination, especially as it can take around two weeks for the anitibodies to develop and protect you.

This year our peer immunisers have been joined by 'flu buddies to help support them. These non-clinical buddies colleagues stepped forward and have been trained by Occupational Health to have some general knowledge of the our winetr campaign, the vaccines we're using ths year and help dispel the common myths around having the 'flu jab. Plus they're on-hand to help with the admin so our immuniers can get jabbing!

We asked on of our buddies - Medical Division PA, Sam MacLeod to tell us why she wanted to support the campaign.

Hello my name is…  Sam Macleod.  I live in Huddersfield with my husband, 2 teenage children and my dog Buster!  When I get time away from being mum taxi, I enjoy getting out on long walks with Buster, although he has had an operation on his paw recently so haven’t been able to get out as much as I would like. I also enjoy going out for food and drink with friends & family and going on holidays!

What is your position?  Divisional PA in Medicine

Summarise your career background  - I have worked for the Trust for 2 and a half years now.  Prior to this I was an Admin Manager for Locala.  And prior to that I worked at the Jobcentre  – where I came across some very colourful characters!

Sum up your role in three words –  providing excellent support

Why did you volunteer to become a Flu Buddy?  - I wanted a chance to get out on the wards and meet members of staff face to face and hopefully put some names to faces.  I find I email people all the time, but don’t necessarily get to meet them.

What does a Flu Buddy do? – essentially they assist the flu immunising team by collecting the details of the staff member receiving the innoculation and upload them to the system.  This frees up time for the immunisers to get on with the jabbing!

Is there anything surprising you’ve learned so far? – I am quite surprised at how many members of staff don’t actually want the immunisation. Many will say they're too busy or they’ll get one later.  So the immuniser explains it's two second job and they were there to do it now.  Some colleagues don't like needles but that where our Occupational Health team can help.

Have you ever had 'flu? No, but I have a friend who told me she had it when she was younger and was literally bed bound with it.  I think we tend to think of flu as like a bad cold, but it is far worse than that!

Have you had your jab elsewhere but nkot told us yet? Maybe you can't have it. Please self-declare here so we can keep our records up-to-date.

See our 'flu intranet pages here.