THURSDAY 29 SEP 2016 11:48 AM


Thousands of NHS staff across England and Wales have been subject to a new campaign, #JabDone, which encourages them to take up the offer of receiving a flu jab, free of charge. Although flu is often considered to be less serious and more easily treatable than many other contagious illnesses, when passed onto a vulnerable person, it can have devastating effects. In 2015 alone, the Guardian reported that 28,189 people died from the illness, or secondary complications it caused.

Thousands of front line NHS staff work with the elderly, disabled and infirm, many of whom are more susceptible to catching a bad strain of the flu virus. It is imperative these staff are first in line to receive free preventative measures - and protect those in their care.

Rachael Gosling, public health lead for Liverpool Community Health NHS Trust, says, “Flu is not just a bad cold; it’s a very nasty and highly contagious illness that leaves most people feeling extremely unwell for up to 7 days, but it can also cause severe or even life-threatening health complications if passed onto vulnerable patients. Thousands of people die every year in England after getting the flu.”

However, communicating this message can be difficult in an environment where staff are usually more concerned about looking after other people. To encourage NHS staff to seriously consider their health, an original internal campaign has been created in collaboration between NHS Merseyside Trusts, and marketing communications firm, Kenyons.

Using a mixture of traditional, paper-based marketing methods and digital media material, the campaign, entitled #JabDone, has adopted a warm approach to nullifying staff excuses. Kenyons has based it on gentle sarcasm, with printed materials using humour and gentle teasing to encourage NHS employees to go ahead with the simple injection.

Staff are also being encouraged to take a ‘flu selfie’ once their injection has been administered.

However, while this particular internal communications campaign uses humour to leverage results, the connotations behind it have a potentially more marked effect than the usual poster-based messaging.

Gosling continues, “The #JabDone campaign is light-hearted, but behind it is a serious message reminding NHS staff of the importance of getting the seasonal flu vaccine again this year to help keep their patients safe.”

James Dunningham, director at Kenyons, says, “We really wanted to do something different with the flu jab campaign this year, something which would be high impact and encourage engagement from staff.”

He continues, “The #JabDone campaign uses a mix of simple imagery, standout copy and social media engagement to really influence staff to have the flu jab.  We are looking forward to seeing the results of the campaign over the next few months.”