As winter approaches The Christie is going all out to make sure staff are vaccinated against flu in order to protect its vulnerable patients.

The Christie has kicked off the campaign by assigning a team of nurse vaccinators to ensure as many staff as possible are vaccinated.

Last year the Trust achieved excellent take up rates of 86% for front line staff placing us second in the country and smashing the 75% recommended take up set by the NHS.

For 2015/16 The Christie is aiming to achieve an even more impressive 89% take up rate as it attempts to be the highest vaccinating trust in the country.

This is great news for patients, who can be sure that staff are going the extra mile to keep themselves protected and patients safe this winter.

Jane Sykes, deputy director of nursing and quality at The Christie, said: "The reason we regularly perform so highly at The Christie is the whole team approach we take to flu vaccination. Our dedicated nurse vaccinators, the staff who are committed to patient safety, our wonderful occupational health team, and our communications team who spread our messages far and wide are all part of our success. This year we're determined to do even better. We take patient safety very seriously at The Christie and make every effort to protect our patients' health while they are in our care."

This year's campaign will build on the success of last year using a team of nurse vaccinators who will have a list of specific staff to contact and offer the jab to. They will be visiting all departments, at various times of the day and night, including weekends, to ensure everyone gets the chance to have the flu vaccination.

Globally, seasonal flu accounts for about 3-5 million causes of severe illness annually and between 250,000 and 500,000 deaths.

The 2014/15 vaccine was not as effective as previous years because a strain of the flu virus mutated. Whilst the vaccine was not as protective against the mutated strain, it still decreased the severity of the illness caused by the virus and protected against the other circulating strains of the virus. The flu vaccine remains the most effective way to protect against flu.

Extensive information on the national NHS flu fighter campaign and why vaccinations are important is available on NHS Employers' flu fighter web pages: