A team of north east NHS bug busters are celebrating after holding their most successful flu campaign to date.
Staff at Northumberland, Tyne and Wear NHS Foundation Trust (NTW), a provider of mental health and disability services have vaccinated a record number of staff with 3,755 of their frontline staff taking part.
Carole Rutter, Modern Matron at NTW said: “This year we wanted to do something new and innovative and with support from our IT and Communications departments we have developed two colourful characters which then were animated to provide our staff with a key message each for week of our 12 week campaign.”
The characters, named Carole and Bugsy, whose weekly stories were shared on NTW’s YouTube channel as well as Facebook and Twitter proved so popular that plans are now already in place for the characters for the next flu season.
Carole added: “Our staff loved the characters and hearing about their weekly antics so we are planning to expand the characters into our patients services rather than using them only for our staff campaign.
“We’re going to do that by introducing our characters into our services for children and young people and invite them to take part.
“Our plan is that the characters can be used as part of therapy sessions where young people can design their own stories and make their own comics and colouring pages. It will be a fantastic opportunity for us to include our young people in this way.”
It is still possible for staff to receive their vaccination from one of the Trust’s 140 fully trained peer vaccinators, staff who work in children’s services are already putting plans in place on how the characters can be adapted.