WIGAN Infirmary has been left out in the cold this winter after missing out on the Government’s £250m winter health fund – much to the dismay of hospital chiefs.
Despite an internal review into A&E being understaffed, the hospital will not receive a penny of the funding put aside to help trusts get through the busy winter months.
And to qualify for next year’s slice trusts will have to get 75 per cent of staff vaccinated against flu as ministers attempt to tackle a long-running problem. Nationally less than half of health staff get the flu jab, putting themselves and patients at risk. Jon Lenney director of human resources at Wrightington Wigan Leigh NHS Foundation Trust (WWL) said: “We are very disappointed to learn that we may not receive any extra funding with regard to the staff flu vaccination and possible access to the A&E bailout funds.
Over the last few years, we have put tremendous effort into encouraging our staff uptake of the flu vaccination and last year our uptake was 64 per cent which was a 10 per cent increase on the previous year.
“Last year, WWL embarked on an intensive visual communications campaign which was short listed for NHS Employers Flu Fighter Awards 2012/13.
In addition to the Director of Nursing, Deputy Director of Nursing and Heads of Nursing going out across WWL in uniform administering the vaccination; we trained up 13 Flu Link nurses to go out with the Occupational Health nurses.
“This year we aim to have Flu Link nurses on every ward who will be responsible for offering the vaccine to any members of staff who come onto the ward.
“We have already more than doubled our recruitment of Flu Link nurses, with over 26 enlisted and more still to be trained.
“WWL managers led by example when they were the first to be vaccinated and we will be repeating this initiative this year. We also ran an incentive scheme with staff to encourage them to be vaccinated where they could win an iPad.”