Helen is nominated as a champion flu fighter

Helen Houghton has been nominated for a national NHS award
Helen Houghton has been nominated for a national NHS award

A Doncaster & Bassetlaw Hospitals Trust employee has been nominated for a national NHS award.

Helen Houghton has been short-listed as a ‘flu fighter champion’ in the NHS employer’s annual Flu Fighter Awards.

Helen has been nominated for her role directing the trust’s flu vaccination efforts and helping to protect both staff and patients over the winter.

Thanks to Helen’s leadership, in just two months the trust managed to vaccinate more than 75 per cent of its frontline healthcare workers against flu, becoming the first acute trust in the country to do so.

Helen marshalled the organisation’s dedicated army of ‘flu busters’, peer vaccinators and its occupational health and wellbeing team to inoculate doctors, nurses and other healthcare workers on wards and outpatient areas, even carrying out special sessions for weekend workers and night staff.

Thanks to their efforts, more than 3,500 members of the trust team were vaccinated.

Influenza is a highly infectious virus and vaccinating staff against the illness is vitally important in keeping flu levels down in hospital, helping to protect vulnerable patients.

Helen said: “I am delighted to have been nominated flu fighter champion. An outbreak of flu within a hospital ward can have a devastating effect on weak and frail patients and I want to thank everyone who took the time to get their jab, as well as our amazing vaccinators, to ensure that those in our care are that little bit safer.”

The flu fighter champion award recognises those members of the NHS that show commitment and dedication to improving flu vaccination uptake, as well as innovation and tenacity in promoting, delivering and supporting the national vaccination campaign.

Moira Hardy, acting director of nursing, midwifery and quality, said: “I am delighted that Helen has been recognised in this way.

“Alongside her team, and peer vaccinators at the trust, Helen has made it her mission to ensure we protect both our patients and staff against flu, and I wish her all of the luck in the world.”

The award ceremony is on March 27 in Leeds.