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East Midlands Chamber News

NHS and Chamber Team Up to Launch Flu Video

A new video featuring Derbyshire patients, businesses and health professionals is being launched by NHS Derby City and NHS Derbyshire County to encourage people to stay flu safe this winter.

Over 60,000 people who are eligible for a free flu jab have still yet to take up the offer which means they are at risk of the serious complications of flu. The uptake is currently 70% for over 65 years, 47% for under 65 years and 39% for pregnant women.

The winter illness has a massive impact on the economy each year and causes major headaches for businesses having to manage staff absence and lost productivity.

Appearing on the video are patients from Ashbourne Medical Practice and representatives from Chesterfield Football Club and Derbyshire and Nottinghamshire Chamber of Commerce.

The video highlights the importance of having the flu jab and helps to address some of the myths that have built up around the vaccine. Patients who appear on the video will be attending the launch.

Jane Careless, immunisation coordinator, at NHS Derbyshire County, said: “We hope that this video which stars local health professionals and patients will go some way to ensuring that more people are vaccinated this winter. The patients featured in the video say, in their own words, why having the jab is so important to them. Anyone watching the video can see just how simple, painless and easy it is to protect themselves from a virus which can cause severe illness and in some cases prove fatal.”

The video will also be used to target football fans thanks to the involvement of Chesterfield FC. Chris Turner, chief executive of Chesterfield FC who appears in the video said: "As a club, we recognise the importance of protecting our players and staff from flu. We'd urge others to protect themselves and their families. Together, let's kick flu into touch!"

The cost of flu to the economy each year in Derby and Derbyshire is £18.36m and the video is also aimed at encouraging employers and staff to protect themselves and those around them.

George Cowcher, chief executive of the Derbyshire and Nottinghamshire Chamber of Commerce, said: “Winter flu can have a huge impact on the local economy in terms of lost productivity through staff absence. The cost of flu to employers stretches much further than simply just having to pay statutory sick pay to staff who take time off through illness.

“It can result in disrupted work schedules during short-term illness that have a knock-on effect for the wider workforce, which is why it is important for businesses of all sizes to have policies and processes in place to manage any potential disruptions properly and supporting their staff so they can recover from the illness properly.”

At-risk patients are more susceptible to the virus because they have an existing health condition or their immune systems are not working as efficiently. These include elderly people aged 65 or over, pregnant women, and those with those with long-term illnesses such as diabetes, asthma and heart disease. The vaccine is also offered free of charge to carers and people living in long stay residential care homes.

For further information visit the NHS Derby City and NHS Derbyshire County website.