Campaign for free flu vaccines for student nurses, get involved! +Petition Watch

Charlotte's Web
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Hi everyone,

I've undertaken the task of trying to get health policy changed so that flu vaccinations are free on the NHS for student nurses. I know some are eligible for free vaccines for health reasons (or because you have a nice mentor when you're working in the community), but the vast majority of us have to pay while junior doctors, volunteers, pharmacists etc. get it for free. I know this isn't a huge change but as far as I'm aware it hasn't been campaigned about before, and it would be beneficial for us and our patients.

I've already spoken to a couple of MSPs and it's just been forwarded to the Cabinet Minister for Health for a response, and hopefully it will get discussed in parliament. If anyone would be interested in writing letters to MPs (you can do it free online), or would like to be involved in any way, please let me know!

I also have a Change.org petition which I'd really appreciate if you could take the time to sign (and share with other student nurses if possible). Thanks!

https://www.change.org/p/the-scottis...student-nurses
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ForestCat
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(Original post by Charlotte49)
Hi everyone,

I've undertaken the task of trying to get health policy changed so that flu vaccinations are free on the NHS for student nurses. I know some are eligible for free vaccines for health reasons (or because you have a nice mentor when you're working in the community), but the vast majority of us have to pay while junior doctors, volunteers, pharmacists etc. get it for free. I know this isn't a huge change but as far as I'm aware it hasn't been campaigned about before, and it would be beneficial for us and our patients.

I've already spoken to a couple of MSPs and it's just been forwarded to the Cabinet Minister for Health for a response, and hopefully it will get discussed in parliament. If anyone would be interested in writing letters to MPs (you can do it free online), or would like to be involved in any way, please let me know!

I also have a Change.org petition which I'd really appreciate if you could take the time to sign (and share with other student nurses if possible). Thanks!

https://www.change.org/p/the-scottis...student-nurses
If you're on placement over winter, have you tried ringing the OH department at the hospital you're at. If you're in a high risk area they should be willing to vaccinate you.
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Charlotte's Web
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(Original post by ForestCat)
If you're on placement over winter, have you tried ringing the OH department at the hospital you're at. If you're in a high risk area they should be willing to vaccinate you.
I've already contacted OH at the health board and university and neither are willing to provide flu vaccines. I've also contacted the RCN who have confirmed the same (for those studying in Scotland, unsure about the situation elsewhere).
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ForestCat
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(Original post by Charlotte49)
I've already contacted OH at the health board and university and neither are willing to provide flu vaccines. I've also contacted the RCN who have confirmed the same (for those studying in Scotland, unsure about the situation elsewhere).
Thats a shame. But I suppose its not cost effective for them (only looking at it from their point of view) as they won't lose money if you're off sick.

I would say I am not sure if this is true of every trust. Certainly in one trust I worked, the OH would grab any one with a hospital badge on and try and get them to have the flu jab.
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Charlotte's Web
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(Original post by ForestCat)
Thats a shame. But I suppose its not cost effective for them (only looking at it from their point of view) as they won't lose money if you're off sick.

I would say I am not sure if this is true of every trust. Certainly in one trust I worked, the OH would grab any one with a hospital badge on and try and get them to have the flu jab.
I can only really speak for the situation in Scotland. Arguably is in their interest though, as there must be a significant cost associated with us sickly students spreading Norovirus round their hospitals.

That's very lucky, hopefully policy will change and every hospital will be like that, that's how it should be.
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anosmianAcrimony
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Wow, wtf?! Why is it not already free?
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ForestCat
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(Original post by Charlotte49)
I can only really speak for the situation in Scotland. Arguably is in their interest though, as there must be a significant cost associated with us sickly students spreading Norovirus round their hospitals.

That's very lucky, hopefully policy will change and every hospital will be like that, that's how it should be.

Not sure how the flu vaccine would stop norovirus?

If you want to be blunt, student nurses don't cost the trust anything if they're off sick. Paid staff do. And the sad fact is that money is the main reason to vaccinate front line staff.
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Charlotte's Web
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(Original post by ForestCat)
Not sure how the flu vaccine would stop norovirus?

If you want to be blunt, student nurses don't cost the trust anything if they're off sick. Paid staff do. And the sad fact is that money is the main reason to vaccinate front line staff.

I am sure that once this is tabled in parliament, expense will be discussed in depth, however the cost/benefit to the NHS of implementing this is well out of any of our hands.

You're fully entitled to your opinion and obviously there is no one forcing anyone to support this campaign, but this post was never intended to cause friction/arguments and I feel like that is where this is headed. Regardless of money, I feel like this is the right thing for me to be supporting and that if other students such as myself feel strongly that this could have a positive impact on patient safety then they should have the right to express that.
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ForestCat
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(Original post by Charlotte49)
I am sure that once this is tabled in parliament, expense will be discussed in depth, however the cost/benefit to the NHS of implementing this is well out of any of our hands.

You're fully entitled to your opinion and obviously there is no one forcing anyone to support this campaign, but this post was never intended to cause friction/arguments and I feel like that is where this is headed. Regardless of money, I feel like this is the right thing for me to be supporting and that if other students such as myself feel strongly that this could have a positive impact on patient safety then they should have the right to express that.
I'm not disagreeing with you, I am simply providing the reasons why it likely isn't provided (in your trust at least).

Good luck with your campaign.
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kimberleyanne
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I am also in Scotland and recently just got my flu jab from occupational health, which is available to all student nurses at my university.


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Charlotte's Web
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(Original post by kimberleyanne)
I am also in Scotland and recently just got my flu from occupational health, which is available to all student nurses at my university.


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Which university do you go to if you don't mind me asking? That's great news, we really need all universities to be doing this.
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kimberleyanne
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I'm at rgu and it seems very weird why some offer and some don't.


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Charlotte's Web
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(Original post by kimberleyanne)
I'm at rgu and it seems very weird why some offer and some don't.


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Yeah I think there is a need for it to be standardised. I think the confusion lies in whether the NHS or the universities should be giving the vaccine. Currently I think it's up to the universities whether they want to give it for free or not. If we can get NHS Scotland to take responsibility then every student in Scotland will be able to get it.
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moonkatt
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My trust offers vaccination to everyone who has direct patient contact, including students. While they wouldn't lose out on money for students being off sick, there's the potential risk of further spread of infection from students coming to placement whilst unwell.
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ThatHealthyLife
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The hospital I work at vaccinates student nurses for free. Although infection control generally corner everyone in uniform until they've had one. They see it as a necessity in protecting patients and the cost of vaccinating is less than that of paying for patients to remain in hospital longer because someone brought in flu.
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lilibet01
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I'm at a London uni and we can get it free from OH
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