Promoting partnership working in the NHS

Healthcare workers flu vaccination

The SPF encourages employers in the NHS to work in partnership with their trade union representatives in the delivery of their seasonal flu staff vaccination programmes because trade union involvement can make local campaigns more effective. For example, use of trade union communication mechanisms to make the case to staff why they should get vaccinated and to counter myths about the flu jab. 

For 2020/21 the aim for the NHS is for all frontline healthcare workers to be vaccinated against seasonal flu. To do this, organisations must provide easy access to the vaccine to all staff, encourage staff to get vaccinated and monitor the delivery of their programmes. See the August 2020 national flu immunisation programme 2020 to 2021- update for more information on the approach to take.

Health Education England has published an interactive e-learning package to support the training of all healthcare professionals involved in delivering or advising on flu immunisation 

Marketing material, which health and social care organisations can use to encourage staff to get vaccinated against seasonal flu, is available on Public Health England's website.


Since 2011, NHS Employers worked in partnership with NHS trade unions, through the SPF, to successfully deliver the national staff facing flu vaccination programme. The flu fighter campaign supported NHS organisations in England to improve staff flu vaccination uptake, from 35 per cent in 2010/11 to 70.3 per cent in 2018/19. 

Even though the national responsibility for the healthcare worker flu vaccination campaign passed to Public Health England in 2019/20, the ask of NHS organisations to work in partnership with trade unions to develop and deliver their local campaigns, remains. 

In 2019/20, the NHS in England achieved a record flu vaccination uptake rate among frontline staff of 74.3 per cent.