A dedicated nurse who has been at the forefront of a campaign to protect staff, patients and families from flu has been nominated for a national award.
Jo Reynard is a Senior Infection Prevention Control Nurse at Leeds Community Healthcare and has energised the Trust’s campaign to vaccinate staff over the past two years.
She has also been part of a team effort to vaccinate hundreds of Leeds City Council’s Adult Social Care workforce.
Among Jo’s innovations have been ‘flu mascots’ Flo and Frankie who she designed with her daughters. They have captured staff’s imagination, helping Leeds Community Healthcare achieve a vaccination rate of 76.8% this year.
That, in turn, has helped keep vulnerable patients and their families free from the threat of flu.
Now Jo’s enthusiasm has been recognised – after she was nominated by NHS Employers, the voice of employers in the health service, for their 2018 flu fighter champion award.
Jo said: “I really enjoy it and I’m really passionate about increasing our numbers of vaccinated frontline workers.
“By protecting staff, we are protecting patients and relatives; with every single staff member we immunise, it’s doing Leeds and the whole health economy a favour because we are protecting everybody.”
This year’s was a particularly tough flu season, with the H3N2 strain causing more severe infections/ illness.
Jo, a nurse since 1989 and former RAF flight nurse responsible for repatriating highly infectious people, said much of her work involved educating people about flu.
“We have tried to bust the myths and ensure staff are aware of the facts and, by doing that, we have had a higher uptake,” she said.
“This year, we have immunised far more staff than we have ever done. Also, within Leeds City Council we have done 300 more vaccinations – as a team we have really worked hard to get this done.”
The 2018 flu fighter awards will be held on the 24 April 18 at the Midland Hotel in Manchester.
Pictured above: Leeds Community Healthcare flu mascots Flo and Frankie with Chief Executive Thea Stein
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