'Nurses have been given free Costa Coffee vouchers as “bribes” to have the flu jab, a conference heard.
One delegate at the Royal College of Nursing (RCN) said they felt “co-erced” to have the vaccination, as they described efforts by NHS trusts to boost uptake.
At some organisations, just one in three staff had the jab, with one third of frontline health workers failing to get the vaccination overall.
Jeanette Jones, a pandemic flu lead from Bristol who promoted use of the vaccine, said her hospital trust had “managed to con Costa into giving us vouchers for free coffee and tea and things for our staff" who got the jab.
However, the nurse said such incentives “didn’t necessarily make a difference” saying staff had been put off by admissions that the vaccine had limited effectiveness.
NHS guidelines on improving flu vaccination rates suggest hospitals should consider “using staff incentives, such as entry into a prize draw on receiving a vaccination or referring a colleague”.
Previously NHS Wales has handed out shopping vouchers to “incentivise” staff to get the vaccine, while health chiefs in Hull and East Yorkshire Hospitals NHS Trust reportedly offered an extra day off to staff taking up the jab in 2011.
Some nurses warned the RCN’s meeting in Belfast the jab was not suitable for all staff.'
Read more: Free Costa Coffee vouchers for NHS staff who have flu jabs
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