It's flu season, which means it's that time of year for health leaders to overlook the mind-bogglingly obvious issue of offering an extremely cheap and simple way to reduce the risk of flu transmission by offering flu vaccination to locum GPs.
— Dr Ruth Hussey OBE (@CMOWales) December 4, 2014
Which huge group (up to 17,000 of us) travel from practice to practice (up to 40 in a year), town to town, city to city, seeing sick patients at their first presentation, many of whom will have the flu, and then catch it ourselves and spread to other towns and cities?
Last year, the BMA had to go out of their way to extract advice from chief medical officers from England, Scotland and Wales – In England, the advice was to go and ask your own practice. This year, the chief medical officers have issued nothing (correction: see tweet from Dr Ruth Hussey OBE, CMO for Wales - thanks Ruth!).
What does the NASGP advise?
- Similar to last year, download and adapt this letter to post to your CCG.
- Book your flu jab with your local high street chemist (keep the receipt, you might be able to claim it against tax).
- Just very nicely ask the next practice you're working in to do it for you.
- Move to Wales.
It's imperative that all GP locums receive a flu vaccine at the earliest opportunity to prevent us acting as an unsuspecting viral vectors as we move from practice to practice, typically working in 30 different practices a year.
As GP locums, we are arguably at our most needed during flu season, so it's in everyone's interest that we all get vaccinated.
Since 2016, it's also in a practices interest, since NHS England are incentivising practices to vaccinate 75% of all their front line staff.
Fortunately, employing surgeries are often fairly obliging when it comes to vaccinating ocus, and it really doesn't cost that much to get a shot from local chemist. But if you're minded to get it for, this download, even if it doesn't get you the money, will at least raise this as an issue.
Locum GPs – have you had your flu jab?
- No (52%, 45 Votes)
- Yes (48%, 42 Votes)
Total voters: 85