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Doctors Condemn Plan To Link A&E Payments To Staff Flu Jab Uptake

The UK’s public health and emergency doctors’ leaders have criticised it’s health secretary for linking extra payments to hospital accident and emergency departments to flu vaccination rates amongst staff.

The Health Secretary (Jeremy Hunt) announced  a plan in September where he detailed how an extra 250 million GBP for emergency services for 2013 -2014 would be allocated.  A further 250 million GBP would be allocated to the emergency services next year, but these payments will be made in full only to NHS trusts where 75% of their staff are vaccinated against influenza this year.

The health department said that the target was not meant  to penalize trusts.  Less than half of frontline NHS staff get vaccinated against influenza, and in some hospitals the proportion is less than one in five.

Dean Royles, chief executive of NHS Employers, which organises the national NHS staff influenza vaccination campaign, said that achieving 75% target would be a huge challenge for many trusts, “especially when their immunisation plans are already in place.”

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