Trust’s flu fighter wins national ‘Flu Champion 2015’ title

27th Mar 2015

Nurse Stuart Young from Sandwell and West Birmingham Hospitals NHS Trust (SWBH), has won the national title ‘Flu Champion 2015’ for his outstanding effort in educating and influencing 1,139 colleagues to have their flu jab. 

The award, from NHS Employers (a not for profit organisation and part of the NHS Confederation, a registered charity.)  aimed to recognize outstanding efforts to increase the number of patient facing staff having flu jabs.

Tracy Lees, Occupational Health & Wellbeing Nurse Manager at SWBH, who nominated Stuart for this award, said: “After winning the award myself last year I am so pleased that the Trust has retained the title of Flu Champion in Stuart this year. He worked so hard, going above and beyond the call of duty, to help us achieve the highest number of vaccinated staff within the Trust’s history.  He is a very well deserving winner.”

Stuart’s success was a combination of hard work, dedication and commitment. He was willing to work different hours, including weekends, evening and early mornings. He was the first nurse to undertake the mobile vaccination clinic, visiting community sites in an ambulance on a 2-weekly basis enabling community based staff to get vaccinated quicker.

Not content with engaging with staff face-to-face on multi-sites, Stuart also utilised social media as an effective channel to distribute messages and raise awareness. He actively sent over 900 tweets about the flu programme to educate employees and followers, as well as tweeting senior national nursing figures, including asking Jeremy Hunt if he’d had his flu jab to which he responded ‘Yes’.

Speaking about his achievement, Stuart said: “I feel very humble and proud to have been given this award. During the ‘Flu Fighter’ campaign my main aim was to utilise social media as well as face-to-face conversations to highlight the importance of front line staff getting vaccinated, and the importance of herd immunity. We all work in the trust to make lives better for our patients and a key way to do that is to remain healthy and immunised ourselves.

“The campaign gave me the opportunity to use my social media skills as well as dress up as ‘Flu Fighter Fred’, adding real character to the work within the Trust.

“My proudest online achievement was getting a response from Jeremy Hunt – Secretary of State for Health asking him if he had been given his Flu Jab.

“Working as part of the Occupation Health Team was a real privilege – looking after the people who look after our patients, they are a team of inspirational health care professionals who strive to keep all staff healthy and safe.”

Danny Mortimer, chief executive of NHS Employers, presented the award and said: “Stuart has done fantastic work to help make the NHS an even safer place for staff, patients, and anyone they come into contact with. More than a million people use the NHS every 36 hours and many can be very vulnerable to flu. So it’s great that the majority of NHS staff find time in their busy days to seek out these voluntary vaccinations.”


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