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Trusts must vaccinate staff to access funding

Trusts must vaccinate staff to access funding

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Hospitals will have to vaccinate 75% of staff against the flu in order to access the government’s A&E bail out fund. 

Over the next two years £500 million will be available to help A&E departments through the winter and improve primary and community care. 

However, to qualify for next year’s funding hospitals will have to get 75% of staff vaccinated against the flu. Currently less than 50% of staff receive flu immunisations. 

But NHS Employers, which lead the health services’ drive to get staff vaccinated said it could be hard for many trusts to reach that number of vaccinations. 

Dean Royles, chief executive of the NHS Employers organisation, said: “NHS Employers knows trusts are already doing a great deal to encourage staff to be vaccinated. It’ll be a huge challenge for many to get three quarters vaccinated, especially when their immunisation plans are already in place, but we’ll be there to support them every step of the way.

“It’s important to emphasise that getting vaccinated is a personal choice, but one we think reflects the compassion all frontline staff should show in every aspect of patient care.”

‘Important role’

Chief Medical Officer Dame Sally Davies said: “Simply by having the flu vaccine, as recommended by the GMC, NHS staff can play an important role in not picking up the flu virus and passing it on to other patients – often people who are already poorly and vulnerable to infection.” 

At least £25 million will be used this year to improve primary care services and an extra £57 million in funding will be used to improve community services, such as end of life care and hospices. 

From April 2014 vulnerable older people will get a named clinician to coordinate their care across the NHS – between hospital, in care homes and in their own homes. 

Care for older people must be joined up between social services and the NHS starting with a £3.8 billion integrated care fund recently announced by the government. 

Care and Support Minister Norman Lamb, who is overseeing the integrated care fund, said: “People shouldn’t fall between the cracks in services, being pushed from pillar to post and not getting the care they need simply because these systems do not work together.” 

He said that integrated care can no longer be “just an aspiration” and that the government has now “put its money where its mouth is”.

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