Flu jabs

Kayla

Registered User
May 14, 2006
621
Kent
It is coming up to the time of year when the over 65's and people with chronic health problems are urged to go to their GP and have their Flu jab. When Mum was at home, I needed to see her nearly every day to check she'd taken her medication, she'd got something for her dinner and she was generally OK. I work with Primary School children from a number of different schools and on numerous occaisons, I asked if I could have a Flu Jab too, as I was caring for Mum. I'm an only child so there was no one else to step in if I were to get Flu. The answer was always no, because I wasn't over 65 and didn't have a chronic health problem. One winter, both my husband and I went down with an awful cold, which could have been Flu and so we were unable to check on Mum and get her medication,which had run out. I think it should be possible to have a Flu jab if you are in contact with young children and elderly people. It doesn't matter now, because Mum is in a NH and is being looked after.
 

Nebiroth

Registered User
Aug 20, 2006
3,511
Sounds odd; I thought that they could give you a flu jab if you were something like a carer looking after a dependent. So obviously not only can you not afford to be ill, but there's a risk of your giving it to the person you're caring for, as well.

Mum and Dad both qualify, as they are over 65, and I qualify because I'm asthmatic, so it's not an issue. I also managed to get them to give me the pneumonia one as well - though I don't really qualify (too young) they stretched a point because I explained that Dad (who has AD) was getting himself so worked up that I was going to die of pneumonia if I didn't have it.

It really sounds as though the surgery and the GP have a lot of discretion.

I had a look at various local health authority websites, and a number of them gave the criteria for qualifying for an annual flu jab; they are

* Aged 65 or over.
* Aged over six months and have a serious illness including serious heart or respiratory conditions (including asthma); kidney disease; diabetes or lowered immunity due to disease or treatment.
* A resident in a long-stay residential care or nursing home.
* A main carer for older or disabled people deemed to be at risk if the carer falls ill.


I already qualify because I have asthma, but it looks as though I would also qualify as main carer if I didn't have that. I guess that a lot of carers might get missed, since surgeries will only automatically notify people who qualify by age of illness. Being a carer is often only known on a "casual" basis. You might think that the DWP would notify people who get carer allowance, but I wouldn't bet on that.

So it will probably fall to the carer to ask for a jab when their dependent gets theirs.

I dread to think what would happen if I was laid up with flu for several weeks, what with Dad having AD, and Mum with Parkinsons and severa mobility problems.
 

Lila13

Registered User
Feb 24, 2006
1,342
My mother's neighbours thought it was her flu jab last October that made her so ill, she was hospitalized 3 days after the jab. I thought it was strange they gave her a jab without noticing she was seriously underweight.
 

noelphobic

Registered User
Feb 24, 2006
3,452
Liverpool
My son gets the flu jab because he has diabetes. Last year when I took him the nurse advised me to have one also because I was his 'carer'. He doesn't see himself as needing a carer but that's another story! He is going away to uni in October so I don't know if he will be able to get one before he goes. He will have to register with the uni health centre when he arrives and I will be very surprised if he goes in and asks for a jab.
 

Kayla

Registered User
May 14, 2006
621
Kent
One problem I had, was that Mum was registered with a different doctor's surgery from me. I think her doctor would have given me a Flu jab, knowing her state of health and dependency. I get the impression that doctors and their receptionists don't really listen to what people are saying. I just got fed up in the end and didn't bother to ask any more.
 

Canadian Joanne

Volunteer Moderator
Apr 8, 2005
16,428
66
Toronto, Canada
NHS odd?

Here's another perspective. Here in Ontario, the jabs are free & for everyone. They advise anyone who visits a NH to have one - no point in bringing illness in, is there?

Isn't prevention cheaper than treatment?
 

noelphobic

Registered User
Feb 24, 2006
3,452
Liverpool
Canadian Joanne said:
Isn't prevention cheaper than treatment?
Possibly not, because if you don't have other health problems then it doesn't generally cost anything to treat your flu! Usual advice is to take to your bed or sofa until the worst is over. However, if you have other health problems or are responsible for someone who has then it can be a different story.

My son is only 18 and has been getting the flu jabs since he was 16 when he developed diabetes. He looks very out of place in the queue at the doctor's surgery as invariably everyone else is over 60.
 

noelphobic

Registered User
Feb 24, 2006
3,452
Liverpool
Canadian Joanne said:
They advise anyone who visits a NH to have one - no point in bringing illness in, is there?
QUOTE]

Also, assuming that all the nh residents get their jabs, why would the visitors need to have them, as they shouldn't be able to infect each other anyway :confused:
 

Grannie G

Volunteer Moderator
Apr 3, 2006
71,117
Kent
I had my first flu jab last year, aged 63, because my husband has AD and Diabetes. I was booked to go for it at the same time as my husband. He has had a severe chest infection and giving me the flu jab , under age, is considered additional protection for him.

It`s also additional protection for the NHS, for if I became ill and was unable to look after him, the NHS would have to. It would cost them much more than a flu jab.

Is it once again a case of Post-Code prescribing?

Grannie G
 

eve43

Registered User
Aug 27, 2006
2
Kings' Norton, Birmingham
Hi
I am a practice nurse and any full time carer is entitled to a flu jab, unfortunately over the past couple of years doctors contracts have changed and any social carer ie school teacher, or hospital or care worker have to have their jabs supplied by their employer and not their GP.

Any patient in a CH is entitled to a flu jab whether in the over 65 or other at risk group or not. Visitors to those in a CH are not. Neither are you able to request the flu jab privately from your GP, however places like NHS walk in centres and some supermarket pharmacies will administer them if the government has released the stocks to them and it will cost between £10 and £15 ( a flu jab costs about £6 from the suppliers incidentally)

Under the new doctor's contract a gp may form an agreement with a neighbouring gp to administer flu jabs privately to each others patients but ONLY when all patients at risk in their surgeries have been given their jabs.

Hope this clears up some confusion - i find it very difficult to turn people away and will be turning several away this year as the at risk group categories especially the carers ones have changed again this year. I have to face an inquisition from the gp and the local pct if i give a jab to anyone not fulfilling the criteria - i think the whole thing is a shambles personally.

(another soap box situation - sorry!)
 

Margarita

Registered User
Feb 17, 2006
10,824
london
I can’t remember why I had the flu jab when my children where younger ,but I was offered it at my doctor I always remember because I shall never forget how ill I felt afterward in having colds of on for the next 6 mouths
 

Norman

Registered User
Oct 9, 2003
4,348
Birmingham Hades
Hi Eve
welcome to TP.
Thank you for the information on 'flu jabas.
How are you finding the new payments for GPs who have long term Dementia patients on their lists?
Norman
 

Tender Face

Account Closed
Mar 14, 2006
5,379
NW England
eve43 said:
Hi
I am a practice nurse and any full time carer is entitled to a flu jab,
Hi Eve. Thanks for that - and please don't apologise for the soap-box..... I so feel for folks here and elsewhere who work within the 'confines' of local or central legislation...

Just to jump on that soap-box for a mo... I love how a 'full-time' carer has an entitlement.... silly s*ds like me who are *only* a primary carer for someone with dementia, not to mention also a wife and a mum who also dares to go out to work and pay my taxes.... as Nebiroth says, I can't bear to imagine being 'laid up' myself with anything for more than a few hours at most!!!!! As Grannie G mentions, I feel I am saving the NHS and Social Services how much????

Am I not worth six quid?

Sorry, rant over. Feel better now.

Karen (TF)
 

Tender Face

Account Closed
Mar 14, 2006
5,379
NW England
Especially to the full-time carers here

Anyone who read my posts yesterday will have realised I was 'all over the place' - (and much the same today but at least aware of it)..... on reflection I have worried that my previous post on this thread could easily be 'taken the wrong way'.... to those who care full-time, I want you to know that I have the utmost admiration for you ... not sure I have it in me.... aside from needing the money, I see work as one 'escape' into the 'real world'..... I realise it's a 'luxury' others here have no choice about.....

Love, Karen (TF), x
 

Kayla

Registered User
May 14, 2006
621
Kent
I used to get very wound up about not being able to get a Flu jab, even if I offered to pay for it. Before Mum went into a Care Home, I did have the rather "parenoid" feeling that everybody went out of their way to make life as difficult as possible for me.
I work afternoons and evenings and I am self employed, so I do not get sick pay or paid time off. Although I was free in the mornings, Mum's doctor was only available for emergency appointments in the morning. Taking Mum to the doctor meant either losing a day's work, or getting my husband to take her, or taking her in as an emergency and wasting the entire morning. Mum sometimes needed three or four appointments a month, so this was a big issue for me.
It was also very inconvenient getting medication, as they changed the system and you could only get 28 days supply at a time. It was a real headache trying to co-ordinate all Mum's various drugs so that they needed to be renewed at the same time. Then the chemist would not have everything and I'd have to keep going back to fetch the rest of the prescription.
When my husband and I were both suffering from bad flu-like colds, I rang the doctors to see if a district nurse could call in and check Mum's medication, and help get her repeat prescription. It was cold and icy at the time and the roads were quite slippery and neither of us felt up to driving. There is no emergency system in this area to check on elderly people in an emergency. In the end we just had to risk driving when feeling unwell.
It would have made the world of difference to me if there had been even just the tiniest bit of support from the NHS. Perhaps if the doctor had called at the house or appointments could have been arranged at convenient times. All the stress of trying to fit in working for a living, with caring for a dependent person takes a toll on health and well being.
Also when Social Workers dismiss everything you try to do by saying, "Oh you're not actually a Carer then, as you don't live in the same house." I felt like I was being treated as a non-person, who didn't count for anything. A phone call would not cost much, and it would be a great encouragement to people and help them to resolve any problems. My Mum, like many others has very complex health problems and for many years has needed a lot of medical care and attention which has really stretched my abilty to cope.
I'm just feeling now, that I actually have some time to be myself, and now I don't need to worry about day to day issues with Mum, I can spend quality time with her and talk to her, while she is still able to hold a conversation.
However I will have to work hard to get back as much work as I had before Mum started falling down and needing attention. Our finances are really feeling the pinch.
Kayla