Welcoming NHS England’s announcement today (Friday) not to make the flu jab compulsory for all staff, UNISON head of health Sara Gorton said:
“While it makes sense for staff to be encouraged to get the flu jab, no-one should feel that they have no option but to have it.
“The NHS is still recovering from the impact of last year’s harsh winter. The government has pledged money to undo the damage caused but this has still not been delivered, and won’t be enough to repair services and improve them for the future.
“Staff will always do their bit, but the NHS cannot face another winter reliant on goodwill and faith alone.
“The NHS had been under huge pressure to make the flu jab compulsory. But encouraging rather than forcing staff to take it was always going to be the more sensible approach.
“But flu is not the only illness that staff working in health and care settings are exposed to. Having a clean environment, maintaining hand hygiene and following guidance when handling infectious materials all play a part in reducing risks. ”