A PREGNANT nurse is backing a campaign by health bosses to immunise NHS staff against the flu virus.
The Oxford University Hospital’s trust wants all 11,000 staff across its four hospital sites to have a flu vaccination.
It comes as NHS Oxfordshire, the county’s primary care trust, also launches a programme to make sure pregnant women protect themselves against the virus.
Helen Stradling, left, a Macmillan Cancer Nurse Specialist at the Nuffield Orthopaedic Centre (NOC), is due to give birth in January.
She is pictured being given her injection by occupational health advisor Linda Ramsbottom.
Mrs Stradling, who won the Nursing Times’ Cancer Nurse Leader of the Year in 2010 said: “Cancer patients are vulnerable to winter flu and having the vaccine reduces the chances I might catch flu at home and give it to them at work.”
NHS Oxfordshire will launch a campaign to raise awareness of the importance of getting a flu jab while pregnant from November.
Pregnant women are 18 times more likely to end up in hospital if they develop flu complications.
In 2010, the OUH immunised around 3, 400 staff.
And last year that was boosted to 5,610.
This year the trust aims to vaccinate at least 7,600 staff but ideally it said all staff would take up the free vaccination.
So far, more than 3,000 members of staff have already had the jab.
Dr Tony Berendt, Deputy Medical Director at OUH, said the trust was running flu clinics for staff across all four of its hospital sites.
He said: “The campaign isn’t just about keeping the individual staff member safe. It’s about protecting patients, colleagues and families too.”