A leading foundation trust considered whether the flu jab could be made compulsory for staff.

The board of Cambridge University Hospitals Foundation Trust looked at mandatory jabs last October and went as far as consulting solicitors about the legality of any scheme.

But the trust eventually went ahead with a voluntary vaccination programme after receiving legal advice that there were potential difficulties in enforcing any compulsory scheme.  

The board minutes reveal trust chief executive Gareth Goodier was supportive of a suggestion from the joint clinical and corporate executive that mandatory vaccination was considered, and pointed to examples from abroad and the “clear benefits” of staff being immunised.

However, there was concern that forcing staff to be vaccinated - for example, through their contracts - could contravene European human rights legislation.

A trust spokesman said: “From a legal and practical view it would be quite difficult to achieve.

“The general feeling is that it would not be possible to mandate the flu vaccine.”

The board also examined ways of encouraging staff to have jabs, including booking appointments online and group vaccinations.

The aim was to get 60 per cent of staff vaccinated against a 2010 take up of 27 per cent. The trust was unable to give a figure for 2011.