A HEALTH trust which operates in the county had one of the highest flu vaccination uptakes in the country, new figures have shown.

The Southern Health’s School Nursing Team – part of a group of nurses who cover Hampshire, the Isle of Wight and the Thames Valley – had the highest uptake rates in the country for the schools vaccination programme this past winter.

Southern Health’s School Nursing Team offered the nasal flu vaccine to all children from Reception to Year 5 that attend a Hampshire County Council school or were home educated.

As a result, 60,055 children were vaccinated, an uptake of 74.4%. The wider nursing team also had the second highest uptake in the ‘over 65s, under 65s and pregnant women’ category, helping prevent flu across the county.

Ginny Taylor, head of children and family services at Southern Health, said: “This is an amazing achievement for our school nursing team in delivering the childhood flu programme across the county to more than 60,000 children of primary school age.”

Nikki Osborne, head of public health in the Wessex region, added: “Southern Health’s child health information service also contributed to some additional significant improvements in the uptake rates for two and three-year-olds, ensuring all vulnerable groups were effectively reached during this latest campaign.”

The next flu programme, starting in October, will also include children in Year 6, meaning all children of primary school age will be offered the vaccine.

Lisa Privett, Southern Health’s child health information service manager, said: “Colleagues within the child health information service worked incredibly hard manually inputting just over 9,000 vaccines per week onto the Electronic Patient Record. This was alongside sending more than 30,000 letters to parents for the two-three-year-olds advising them to attend the GP to receive their flu vaccination.”