A THOUSAND hospital workers have had the flu jab in just one week.

The figure represents around a fifth of those who work in Great Western Hospital and in roles around Swindon.

More workers are expected to be vaccinated in the coming weeks, GWH said. They aim to give the flu jab to 70 per cent of frontline workers by March next year.

Dr Guy Rooney, Great Western Hospital NHS Foundation Trust’s medical director, said: “Free flu jabs have been offered to all our teams for several years now, but this year looks like it’ll be more important than ever to get vaccinated as early as possible.”

He pointed to the challenges of Australia’s recent flu season, where hospitals were forced to turn patients away.

"What's happening Down Under is a strong indication of what's likely to happen here in the coming months,” Dr Rooney said. “But the great thing is that avoiding such an outbreak is within our control - simply by having the flu jab.

"This one quick thing will help us to stay fighting fit for our patients during the busy winter we're all expecting."

Great Western Hospital staff have been trained to give the vaccine to their colleagues.

Topping the leaderboard of what the hospital have called their “peer vaccinator army” is Janet Peart, who works in the baby delivery suite at GWH.

In just one week, Janet gave 70 colleagues the flu jab.

The flu jab is free for over-65s, pregnant women, carers, children and those with “at risk” conditions such as asthma and diabetes.

For more, visit: www.nhs.uk.