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August/September 2018 (vol. 15/2)

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Mandatory flu jabs for HCWs

Summary:

In January, the then NHS medical director Sir Bruce Keogh called for a debate on compulsory influenza vaccination for front line NHS healthcare workers. Was he right?

A record number (68.7%) of NHS frontline healthcare workers (HCWs) were vaccinated against influenza in 2017/181(p.10) – an 18.1% rise since 2015/16 and edging closer to the NHS ‘Flu fighter’ national target of 75%2. NHS trusts are already penalised financially if they don’t meet flu vaccination targets under the Commissioning for Quality and Innovation (CQUIN) scheme3 but in January 2018, then NHS medical director Sir Bruce Keogh raised the stakes by calling for ‘a proper discussion for next year about mandatory flu jabs’ for frontline HCWs, to protect patients and reduce absence4. With the 2018/19 flu vaccination ‘season’ starting in October now is a good time to have that discussion – but its scope must be wide…

Dr John Ballard, editor

Author: Ballard J

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Occupational Health at Work August/September 2018 (vol. 15/2) pp03

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