Research teams at the University of East Anglia and University of Leicester are undertaking a trial to try to improve flu vaccination rates in older age care homes.
Currently, across England, an average of 30% of care home staff receive the flu vaccination rates in care home staff. This contrasts with the World Health Organisation target of 70%.
Dr Amrish Patel from the University of East Anglia, who is co-leading the project with Professor David Wright, said that ‘We spoke to care home managers, staff and residents across the UK and were told about many factors making it difficult for staff to get vaccinated. Using this information, we developed a package of measures that includes staff focused flu vaccination clinics in the care home, videos and posters raising awareness of, and addressing concerns about, the flu vaccination and a financial incentive for care homes that hit their flu vaccination target, just like NHS organisations already receive.’
Care homes in England are able to take part in the trial.
All care homes receive a £500 participation fee for collecting a small amount of data each month and sending it to the research team during the flu season.
In addition, half of the care homes will receive the FluCare package of measures (clinics, promotional campaign and financial incentive). The team are unable to say in advance which care homes will receive the FluCare package, but in order to establish if the FluCare package leads to higher vaccination rates, and by doing so provide evidence to support a future national contract for flu vaccination in care homes, the team homes to participate in both arms of the trial.
The team would like to hear from care homes that would be interested in joining the trial. If you are interested, please email firstname.lastname@example.org or contact Jen Pitcher, FluCare Recruitment Lead on 07795126728. Information is also available at www.flucare.co.uk.
Residential/Nursing care homes in England
Providing care for those over 65
Have ten or more staff members of any role
Have a staff flu vaccination rate of less than 40%
All participating homes receive £500
Payment for staff interviews
Staff payments for completing questionnaires
Free staff flu clinics if chosen to receive the FluCare package
The FluCare package includes:
Free staff vaccine clinics in your care home
Motivational videos, posters, and leaflets
Incentive payment to care homes
Recruitment is open NOW - go to: www.flucare.co.uk to register your interest
Bright Copper Kettles CIC supports this trial because;
absent workers can mean less support for residents with their day to day activities.
flu can leaves individuals feeling unwell and unable to take part in the activities they might otherwise enjoy.
a flu outbreak in a care home can result in action being taken to reduce the number of visitors allowed into the home.
flu can leave residents feeling isolated and can be particularly confusing for anyone living with dementia.