|Local Health Visitor receives National ‘Flu Fighter’ Award
Carol Williams, a health visitor for the Ashton, Leigh and Wigan Division of Bridgewater Community Healthcare NHS Trust, has won an award in recognition of the support she has given to the national NHS staff flu vaccination campaign.
Carol, who lives in Bolton, fought a harrowing battle against swine flu last year. During her recovery she was interviewed on film about her experience to promote a flu vaccination programme for local NHS healthcare workers.
The national ‘Flu Fighter’ award was presented to Carol at the NHS Employers National Conference in Liverpool by Dean Royles, Director of NHS Employers. She was also later congratulated at the event by Health Secretary Andrew Lansley.
“I am delighted by the recognition but what’s more important to me is that people get the vaccine. I hate to think of anyone going through what I did.”
Carol spent several weeks in intensive care after contracting swine flu during the Christmas/New Year holiday last year. During her recovery Carol agreed to let Stream Pictures, on behalf of Bridgewater Community Healthcare NHS Trust, make a film about her experience. When the film was completed it was used to promote the seasonal flu vaccination programme to local NHS staff. The video has already prompted hundreds of healthcare workers to get the flu vaccine, many of whom for the first time.
Stephen Ward, Medical Director for Bridgewater Community Healthcare NHS Trust, commended Carol on her achievement:
“I am delighted that Carol’s efforts to raise awareness of the importance of the staff seasonal flu vaccination have been recognised with this national award. Carol’s willingness to share her own alarming story about becoming seriously ill with flu has struck a chord with staff in Ashton, Leigh and Wigan Division and across the Bridgewater Trust as a whole. We hope that sharing Carol’s experience will encourage more staff in the trust take up the vaccination and therefore protect their patients and the wider community against flu.”
As well as frontline healthcare workers, the flu vaccine is also available free on the NHS and is recommended if you:
* Are pregnant
* Are 65 or older
* Have a serious medical condition
* Are a carer
* Live in a residential or nursing home.
If you think you need a flu vaccination, check with your GP, nurse or local pharmacist or log on to www.nhs.uk for more information.