Research teams at the University of East Anglia and University of Leicester are undertaking a trial to improve flu vaccination rates in care homes.
The clinical trial, FluCare, is designed to increase the numbers of care home staff having the flu vaccination. Currently, across England, an average of 30 per cent of care home staff receive the flu vaccination – this contrasts with the World Health Organisation target of 70 per cent.
All care homes in England are able to take part in the trial. Participating homes will receive a £500 fee for collecting a small amount of data each month and sending it to the research team during the flu season. In addition, half of the care homes will receive the FluCare package of measures (clinics, promotional campaign, and financial incentive). The team are unable to say in advance which care homes will receive the package, but in order to establish if the FluCare package leads to higher vaccination rates, and by doing so provide evidence to support a future national contract for flu vaccination in care homes, the team needs homes to participate in both arms of the trial.
Dr Amrish Patel from the University of East Anglia, who is co-leading the project with Professor David Wright, said: “We spoke to care home managers, staff, and residents across the UK and were told about many factors making it difficult for staff to get vaccinated. Using this information, we developed a package of measures that includes staff focused flu vaccination clinics in the care home, videos and posters raising awareness of, and addressing concerns about, the flu vaccination, and a financial incentive for care homes that hit their flu vaccination target, just like NHS organisations already receive.”
The team would like to hear from care homes interested in joining the trial. Please email [email protected] or contact Jen Pitcher, FluCare recruitment lead, on 07795126728.