Ruffley calls for action on flu from Suffolk West PCT

Wednesday, 9 November, 2005

David Ruffley MP has today written to Mike Stonard, Chief Executive at Suffolk West PCT, asking that the PCT take action to address its performance in ensuring as many elderly residents as possible have received flu vaccinations.

The Healthcare Commission 2004 performance ratings reveal that Suffolk West PCT was the least effective of all PCTs in Suffolk, Norfolk and Cambridgeshire at vaccinating the over 65 population against flu.

Despite the fact that Suffolk West PCT received a Band 5 rating for flu vaccinations the PCT's performance still lagged behind the rest of Suffolk and also fell below the national average. Of the 303 PCTs that were rated; 202 achieved better flu vaccination rates amongst the over 65s than Suffolk West PCT.

David said:

'As the winter flu season approaches it is of the utmost importance that as many people as possible are vaccinated.

'While Suffolk West PCT can take some comfort in the fact they achieved the Government target of vaccinating 70 percent of the over 65 population there is still room for improvement. Each of the other PCTs in Suffolk, Norfolk and Cambridgeshire performed better and despite gaining a Band 5 rating Suffolk West still fell below the national average.

'The Office for National Statistics figures show that the rate of winter deaths in 2004/05 was the highest for five years. It is, therefore, imperative that this winter we are better prepared. This is why I have written to Mike Stonard at Suffolk West PCT to ask what the PCT is doing to improve on last year and what the projected rate of vaccination is for this year.'