Patients are heroes of hospital’s annual flu jab campaign

Superjab, designed by patients at Northgate Hospital, Morpeth.
Superjab, designed by patients at Northgate Hospital, Morpeth.

Patients are helping hospital staff to stay fighting fit as they join in a flu jab campaign.

Members of The Arts Project at Northgate Hospital in Morpeth have designed a new superhero as the artwork for the initiative, which encourages NHS staff to get their flu vaccination.

Superjab was chosen when one of the patients pointed out that many people do not like needles and a friendly character could help put them at ease.

Northumberland, Tyne and Wear NHS Foundation Trust (NTW), which runs the hospital and provides mental health and disability services, was delighted with the idea and the patients got to work bringing it to life.

Arts Project Manager Jane Akhurst said: “We love a challenge and we jumped at the chance to be involved in this year’s flu campaign.

“Part of the exciting challenge of projects like this is thinking up the ideas and one of the patients had the great idea of creating a superhero character.”

Patients also created a cityscape background for the character, and refined it to make it look more friendly, including removing his teeth, as they thought the initial draft looked too scary.

They added colours and text, and finalised the work using computer package Photoshop.

Ms Akhurst said: “As ever, I continue to be extremely proud of the patients’ work.

“So many different processes and thinking was involved in coming up with the finished artwork, and I absolutely love the character, and his signature red pants.”

NTW Modern Matron Carole Rutter has welcomed the patients’ contribution.

“I absolutely love the design,” she said.

“This is the first time that our patients have contributed to our annual flu campaign and it’s fantastic that our patients recognise the importance of staff being vaccinated and the role everyone has to play for us all to stay well this winter.”