Innovative way to combat flu issue

NHS staff have come up with an innovative and creative way to keep their patients and staff safe from flu this winter.

Northumberland, Tyne and Wear NHS Foundation Trust (NTW), a provider of mental health and disability services, have produced a series of weekly animations covering the adventures of their flu crew.

The animations follow a weekly story of a flu fighter heroine, Carole, taking on her nemesis Busgsy the flu virus.

The campaign consists of a series of 12 weekly stories which cover common flu myths as well as linking with seasonal themes such as Halloween and the festive period.

Carole Rutter, Infection, Prevention and Control Matron at NTW, said: “Each year we try to make our flu campaign bigger and better and we see an increase in uptake year on year.

“Despite any reservations that people may have about the vaccine, it is still the best defence we have against a virus that can make you very ill.

“This year our talented developers in our IT department have joined our flu campaign and I’m delighted with the results.

“As far as I’m aware no other trust has produced anything similar. The characters which have been created are colourful and unique and are really engaging and appeal to a broad audience.”

Each week the stories, which typically last anywhere between one to two minutes are uploaded to the Trust’s YouTube channel.

The latest is the Halloween edition which shows Bugsy trick or treating and knocking on Carole’s door. The animations are also available on the Trust’s twitter account @ntwnhs as well as their Facebook page.

As well as the weekly animations the Trust have also produced an informative video which busts the common myths about the flu vaccine and explains the reality behind the headlines about the effectiveness of the vaccine.

Carole added: “Last year we had the most nurses vaccinated in the north east and we want to build on our achievements and I really believe that this year’s campaign is so unique it will catch everyone’s attention. We are passionate about keeping our staff and our patients safe this winter.”

The latest Halloween animation can be viewed at