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Right Arrow Matron's flu warning to hospital staff
17 November 2009 at 11:48
Hospital matron Jayne Norbury is urging colleagues to protect themselves and their patients against swine flu by getting vaccinated after being sick with the virus for a week.

“I can honestly say this was the most ill I have ever felt,” said Jayne, 49, who runs the accident and emergency department at Southport and Formby District Hospital.

“I’ve always been one of those nurses who said ‘I don’t want the flu jab, I don’t get ill and, in any case, flu’s not that bad’. But how wrong I was.

“I wouldn’t wish to see anyone feeling like I did for those seven awful days.”

Her message came as Southport and Ormskirk Hospital NHS Trust began to offer the vaccination against swine flu to her colleagues.

Staff working with the most vulnerable patients were among the first to receive it. They included those in the accident and emergency department, children’s and midwifery staff, and intensive care and critical care teams. Other staff will be offered the vaccine as part of a planned programme over the next few weeks.

Angela Kelly, the Trust’s deputy director of nursing and lead on swine flu, said: “We’re encouraging as many staff as possible to get vaccinated. Getting vaccinated is the single most important thing staff can do to protect themselves and their patients from swine flu.”

Frontline health and social care workers are one of the priority groups to receive the vaccine because they have an increased risk of catching swine flu and of spreading it to other at-risk patients.


MATRON’S EXPERIENCE OF SWINE FLU

It was the most ill Southport hospital A&E matron Jayne Norbury had ever felt. Here she tells why she’ll be having “whatever flu jabs are going” from now on.

“It was the Friday before half-term and I woke up with the most horrendous headache. Worse than even a hangover.

“I slept most of the day but started to have breathing difficulties. So, on Saturday, I went to the GP who diagnosed swine flu, a chest infection and exacerbated asthma, and prescribed steroids, antibiotics and Tamiflu.

“It was Thursday, nearly a week later, before I started to feel better and I was feverish, tight-chested and feeling very poorly for most of that time.

“What made things worse was it being half-term – I’ve got a 12-year-old son and 16-year-old daughter who were at home, and we also had builders working on the kitchen!

“I don’t do being ill and I’m a terrible patient, but I can honestly say this was the most ill I have ever felt.

“I’ve always been one of those nurses who said ‘I don’t want the flu jab, I don’t get ill and, in any case, flu’s not that bad’. But how wrong I was.

“After this experience I’ll be having whatever flu jabs are going and I’m telling friends and everyone I work with to do the same.

“I wouldn’t wish to see anyone feeling like I did for those seven awful days.”



Ends


Notes to Editors

1. A fuller version of this interview is included in the attached case study

2. The national swine flu vaccination programme is offering the vaccine to those at the greatest risk first. They are:

• People aged between six months and 65 years who usually get the seasonal flu jab
• All pregnant women
• People who live with those whose immune systems are compromised, such as cancer patients or people with HIV/AIDS
• People aged 65 and over in the seasonal flu vaccine at-risk groups

For up to date information about swine flu, visit www.direct.gov.uk/swineflu


Issued by Tony Ellis, marketing and communications manager,
Southport and Ormskirk Hospital NHS Trust

Tel 01704 704494 | Mobile 07599 754833
tony.ellis@southportandormskirk.nhs.uk