A cult film based on violent crime and gratuitous swearing might not seem the obvious choice for promoting a new health campaign.
But Quentin Tarantino’s masterpiece Reservoir Dogs was the inspiration behind a bizarre new video encouraging Blackpool health workers to get the flu jab.
While any use of needles mentioned by the likes of Mr Pink and Mr White is not likely to be medically – or legally – safe, this five-minute short film comes with a doctor-approved message.
Each year, Blackpool Teaching Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust produces a film to encourage staff to get themselves inoculated against the flu virus. The brains behind the latest video, communications assistant Lee Rayner, said: “The video shows how a serious message can be driven home in a fun and innovative way.
“We wanted to raise awareness among staff about the importance of being vaccinated but we wanted the message to be delivered in a fun and engaging way.’’
Much like the original, the film opens with its suit-clad stars sat around a table talking. But rather than the merits of tipping, the health-conscious gangsters are discussing their hands-on plan to vaccinate staff.
Mark Wrigley, a haematology manager by day, is one of the stars of Flu Fighters. His character and his associates go on to forcibly administer the injection to members of hospital staff.
He said: “It was great fun to be involved and the feedback I have had already has been amazing. Underneath it all is a serious message but hopefully by putting it across like this we can help get the message across in the best way.’’
While it is not likely to top many awards lists, the trust is hoping its film is a hit with staff.
Caroline Hastie, head of communications at the trust, said: “Last year’s video created huge interest among our staff who enjoyed the film but also took the message to heart. It created a real buzz and our staff vaccination levels rose dramatically as a result. We are hoping this year’s video will help us improve on those figures even more.’’
Marie Thompson, director of nursing and quality, said: “Underneath the fun, there is of course a very serious message for our staff.
“Having a flu jab is the responsible thing to do and will help us to continue to offer the high quality care our patients rightly expect from us throughout the winter.
“We had a fantastic response to the vaccination programme last year, with 71 per cent of our workforce being vaccinated.”