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Pop hit hopes to boost flu jab message to patients

Jill Ness, centre in her Rudoplh jumper, with her colleagues who also appear in the video.
Jill Ness, centre in her Rudoplh jumper, with her colleagues who also appear in the video.

Last Christmas you gave me the flu...and the very next day I really did pay.

The Wham! hit Last Christmas has been re-written by a team of health campaigners as they call on people to get their jab to protect against the illness.

The team from North Tees and Hartlepool NHS Foundation Trust even star in their own pop video to accompany their version of the track, swapping George Michael and Andrew Ridgeley’s snowy mountainsides, chalets and mullets for shots of staff choirs as they deliver their lifesaving message from their wards and units.

The project has been led by its health and wellbeing and organisation and development teams as they recorded the new words to get across their plea.

Emergency nurse practitioner Alistair Hutchinson shot and edited the footage, with the finished film already totting up more than 1,200 views on YouTube.

Health and wellbeing lead Jill Ness, who rewrote the lyrics, is also one of the organisation’s vaccinators, ensuring as many people entitled to the jab are given it as possible before winter hits.

She said: “We recorded a song for last year’s flu and found it was a very successful way of getting our message across.

“We wanted this year’s song to be even better.

“I have always been a fan of George Michael and Wham! so I really wanted to do this song.

“Behind the song and video is a serious message – it’s important all staff are vaccinated to protect themselves, their family and their patients against flu.

Health bosses hope the song will persuade people to get their jab this winter.

Health bosses hope the song will persuade people to get their jab this winter.

“Despite what people think you cannot get flu from the flu vaccine.

“It is not a live vaccine so it is impossible to catch flu by having the vaccine.

“Flu can be serious and even fatal, even for normally fit and well people, so that’s why the campaign is so important to protect ourselves and our patients.

“It’s very important for our staff to get the vaccination to minimise the risks of developing the flu when they’re exposed to patients who have flu themselves and to prevent themselves carrying the flu virus to others including their friends, family, other patients and relatives.”

Behind the song and video is a serious message – it’s important all staff are vaccinated to protect themselves, their family and their patients against flu.

Jill Ness

The vaccine is available for free to anyone 65-plus, pregnant women, those with an underlying health condition and children and adults with weakened immune systems.

A vaccine nasal spray is also offered to children aged two and three, reception classes and school years one, two, three and four.