The Isle of Wight NHS Trust CEO, Maggie Oldham, said staff who were not vaccinated could be removed from frontline duties and that other trusts had discussed withholding sick pay if a staff member chose not to have the vaccine, and then caught the flu.
Just over half of frontline medical staff had the flu vaccine this year, despite a trust target of 100 per cent, with at least one person declining because they were vegan.
The Isle of Wight NHS Trust set an ‘ambitious target’ of vaccinating all healthcare workers who have direct contact with patients.
However, just 53 per cent of staff took up the free, optional vaccine. Only half of the trust’s doctors — 157 out of 313 — opted to have the jab.
Nurses and midwives had the highest vaccination rate, at 60 per cent.
1,261 staff not vaccinated
Out of the 1,261 staff not vaccinated, only 47 returned forms stating why they would not be having the jab. Many did not put their names, role or location on.
- Being vegan (vaccine cultivated in chick embryos).
- Because it might make me ill.
- The vaccine doesn’t work.
- Never had flu, don’t want the vaccine.
- Had flu after the vaccine before.
- Don’t like needles.
Adapting the campaign
The trust will now be looking at how to change its campaign for next year.
Needle phobic staff will be able to have pre-arranged walk in jabs which, the trust said, would reduce the anxiety of waiting.
In November, chief executive Maggie Oldham said staff who were not vaccinated could be removed from frontline duties.
Mrs Oldham said other trusts had discussed withholding sick pay if a staff member chose not to have the vaccine, and then caught the flu.
Meetings poorly attended
A paper due to go before the NHS trust board on Thursday said meetings held with department heads were poorly attended, and actions were not always carried through.
Due to other winter pressures, these were not prioritised.
Prizes for top vacccinators
The trust will also be holding a competition between peer vaccinators — whoever vaccinates the most staff will win a prize or award.
All vaccinators will be given a target of 30-40 vaccines, spread across a clinical area.