29 per cent of
healthcare workers vaccinated so far this year
A nationwide information service to keep everyone safe and well
this winter was launched today by the Chief Medical Officer,
Professor Dame Sally Davies.
The online hub will provide regular updates about the
increased demand on the NHS during the cold winter months and
offer practical advice on keeping well when the weather is very cold.
It is the second year that Winterwatch has been available
and, for first time, it will also publish information about flu,
pressure on A&E and hospital statistics in one single
place. This will provide an invaluable source of information for
health and social care professionals around the country.
Figures released today show that 29 per cent of healthcare
workers are currently vaccinated in comparison to 11 per cent this
time last year. Although this shows a positive increase in the
early uptake of the vaccination, the numbers are still too low and
more work has to be done.
Dame Sally said:
"The cold winter months bring additional risks to
our health and well being. It’s important we all look after
ourselves and those around us to make sure we stay safe and well.
"Winterwatch will provide an invaluable source of
information for doctors, nurses and commissioners around the country.
"NHS staff keep our health service running and it is
vital they continue to protect themselves, their patients and
their families over the coming months."
The Health Secretary has also today announced that five
hospitals will be able to provide extracorporeal membrane
oxygenation (ECMO) this winter. ECMO is an additional treatment
for patients with severe reversible respiratory failure. The
treatment oxygenates the blood outside the body when the lungs
aren’t able to.
The five hospitals will be able to respond flexibly to surges
in demand and treat up to 30 adult patients at any one time. It is
anticipated that around 160 people may need this treatment this
winter. The five hospitals are:
* Guy’s & St Thomas’ NHS Foundation Trust
* Papworth Hospital NHS Foundation Trust
* Royal Brompton & Harefield Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust
* University Hospitals of Leicester NHS Trust
* University Hospitals of South Manchester NHS Foundation Trust
Health Secretary, Andrew Lansley said
"ECMO is a very specialist treatment for people who
are so severely ill with flu that their lungs aren’t able to work
properly. England is one of the leading countries in the world in
the provision of this treatment.
"I recently visited Leicester Royal Infirmary to
meet the specialist staff there who have pioneered this treatment
and are providing training to other centres. Through this
expansion of ECMO capacity, the NHS will be able to save lives if
life-threatening respiratory conditions strike.
"There is often more pressure on the NHS at this
time of year. It deals with rises in slips, trips and falls,
increases in admissions due to flu and other health problems
associated with the colder weather and the winter vomiting bug
norovirus. But the NHS is well prepared.
"Across Government, we are implementing our cold
weather plans which are supported by our pledge of £30 million,
which will help people to keep homes warm this winter."
Hospital Episode Statistics also show us that there were
462,300 hospital admissions for falls in 2010/11 in England . Out
of these, 14,300 admissions were recorded as being for falls on
the same level involving ice and snow.
Notes to Editors
For more information contact Department of Health newsdesk on
0207 210 5221
To access Winterwatch please visit http://www.dh.gov.uk/winterwatch
* Flu information and vaccine uptake figures
Emergency Care and A&E data
* Links to numerous other
useful sites containing important public health information.
Department of Health
Phone: 020 7210 5221