Flu fighting UHCW up for top prize

University Hospitals Coventry and Warwickshire (UHCW) NHS Trust has been shortlisted for the 2016 Public Sector Communications Awards in the Internal Communications Campaign of the Year category.

The awards celebrate the best work in PR and communications in local and national government, emergency services and not-for-profit bodies from across the UK.

UHCW’s Communications and Occupational Health Teams were shortlisted for their staff flu vaccination campaign, which was run in-house at no additional cost to the Trust. The campaign, which ran between October 2015 and January 2016, helped the numbers of staff who were vaccinated to increase to 63.9% - an increase of 9% from the previous year.

UHCW’s figures were significantly better than the national average of frontline staff being vaccinated - 50.8% - which was a national drop of 4% on the 2014/15 flu season. UHCW also saw higher rates of flu vaccination when compared to other neighbouring Trusts, demonstrating that the local campaign had led to the bucking of regional and national trends.

Karen Martin, Chief Workforce and Information Officer, said: “It’s fantastic that our Communications and Occupational Health Teams have been recognised for their work to encourage staff to get vaccinated against influenza.

“Achieving a significantly higher vaccination rate will have protected many staff, patients and relatives against a virus which can be deadly to vulnerable people, as well as helping to decrease staff sickness absence.”

The awards ceremony will be held in London on Thursday, July 14, 2016. The Trust will be up against seven other public sector organisations including Hampshire Fire and Rescue Service, West Yorkshire Police and University Hospitals of Morecambe Bay NHS Foundation Trust.

Over the last year, the Trust’s Communications Team has been recognised by a number of other national awards schemes, including the PR Moment Awards, the UK Social Media Communications Awards and the Comms2Point0 UnAwards.