You’d think that the most important group of healthcare workers that need a flu vaccination, apart from those working with immunocompromised patients, would be GP locums. Often working in dozens of different practices covering huge areas, we are the perfect means of transport for the flu virus. We’d probably even be more effective at transmitting bird flu than our feathered friends.
So why is it that a polite request from a locum to a practice asking if they can have a flu jab is occasionally met with derision? As if it’s a sneaky request, and would only stand a chance of getting one if Rome burnt down.
Apart from locums being a great means of transmission, it’s also really inconvenient for our patients when we have to cancel a whole raft of work from our beds. And because locums are generally employed to cover a practice to help them out of a situation, usually to run their ’emergency surgeries’ – which are even busier during a flu outbreak – generally speaking, an absent locum causes more disruption than an absent partner.