Under 50% of Frontline Welsh NHS Staff Take Flu Jab

An investigation into the uptake of the flu vaccination among Welsh NHS staff has revealed that less than half chose to take the flu jab.

The Health Select Committee found that 46% of staff in the NHS in Wales were vaccinated during the 2015/16 period.

Chairman Dai Lloyd suggested that the vaccination is an important preventative measure, and that staff should take steps to ensure that they do not become ill.

The Welsh government is currently ruminating over the findings of the research, and will release their official position on the issue in due course.

Meanwhile, it was also suggested by the report that the NHS would be able to deal with winter pressures more efficiently if it could cope with difficulties throughout the year.

A more resilient NHS all-year round was the best way to address increased pressure on services, according to the research.

Yet efforts currently focused on “fire-fighting”, as opposed to satisfactorily evolving the entire system.

Lloyd suggested that the NHS could do a better job of dealing with existing pressures in Wales.

“It is clear from the evidence we heard that the many pressures facing the NHS in Wales are not restricted to a particular period or season but are, in fact, all year round. Nevertheless, it is also clear that there are seasonal spikes in demand, especially during the winter months, which put an already stretched system under further strain.”

Meanwhile, the Royal College of Paediatrics and Child Health stated that it was “encouraged” by the recommendations of the health committee’s report.

“The bottom line is that more care needs to be delivered in the community by GPs, pharmacists and urgent care centres,” its Welsh officer, Dr Mair Parry, commented.

In an attempt to address problems in the Welsh healthcare system, an extra £50 million is being made available for NHS Wales by the Welsh Government, which will be particularly invested in dealing with winter pressures on hospitals.

Responding to the issue, a Welsh Government spokesman suggested that the research is valuable, and that the authorities have already responded to its recommendations.

“We welcome the committee’s report and will consider their findings in due course but firmly believe the extensive local and national preparation that has been put in place will deliver robust, resilient services so that people have access to the care they require, when they need it.”

The NHS received a net boost of £278 million under the Welsh government’s spending plans, announced in December 2015.


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