Cheshire Fire and Rescue Service wins fourth award in a year for Safe and Well visits
Lifesaving work by Cheshire firefighters working with health professionals has won a fourth award in the first year of the innovative and ground breaking Safe and Well programme.
The collaboration between Cheshire Fire and Rescue Service (CFRS), NHS and Merseyside Fire and Rescue Service (MFRS), has won the Working Together Award at the iESE Public Sector Transformation Awards 2018.
These awards are open to any public body in England, Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland along with partners in the voluntary community and private sector.
Nick Evans, Head of Prevention at Cheshire Fire and Rescue Service, said: “We are delighted that the fantastic work of our firefighters and prevention team advocates has been recognised by this award.
“The Safe and Well visits have been invaluable in increasing the number of interventions which take place in the home of the most vulnerable in Cheshire."
The Independent Cancer Taskforce set an ambitious task for the NHS to make significant progress in preventing and reducing preventable cancers, increasing cancer survival and improving patient experience and quality of life by 2020. Fire and rescue staff come into contact with vulnerable people on a daily basis which makes firefighters ideally placed to deliver additional messages due to the trust people place in them.
CFRS has a strong record of prevention work to help protect vulnerable people from fire risk in the home and the Service expanded its advice and support to vulnerable residents following a request from NHS England Chief Executive, Simon Stevens, for the fire and rescue services to support the prevention of poor health and collaborate to help “vulnerable people to stay healthy and independent.”
As well as giving fire safety advice and fitting smoke alarms, firefighters and advocates also give out information on avoiding slips, trips and falls, alcohol and smoking cessation, atrial fibrillation and bowel cancer screening kits.
Nick continued: “This early intervention means that the services can give safety and wellbeing advice to these people before any problems become larger and, particularly in the cases of bowel cancer and atrial fibrillation which are potentially life threatening, before they present at A&E.”
Cllr Bob Rudd, Chair of Cheshire Fire Authority, added: “CFRS is delighted to have been awarded the Working Together Award at the 2018 iESA Public Sector Transformation Awards.
"This award recognises the ground breaking work the Service is doing in partnership with health partners to help increase bowel cancer screening rates in the North West and the specific work we are doing in Cheshire to screen people at risk from atrial fibrillation, one of the main causes of strokes. The CFRS Safe and Well work is a fantastic example of public sector collaboration and partnership working for the good of the people we serve.”
"The Working Together award recognises that residents and local businesses benefit greatly from not having to deal with multiple contact points and agencies when it comes to accessing public services. There is also a benefit to those services, through building a better picture of the needs of individual customers, patterns of demand and a better understanding of vulnerable groups and events likely to cause peaks in demand."
Other awards won for the Safe and Well initiative:
Excellence in Fire and Emergency Award 2017
Healthcare Transformation Award207
Heart Rhythm Showcasing Best Practice 2017
Cheshire Fire and Rescue Service offers a free 'Safe and Well Visit' for people who are aged over 65 and for people who are referred to us by partner agencies because they are considered to be at a particular risk.
Between 1 February and 3 December 2017 Cheshire firefighters and advocates have carried out over 35,000 Safe and Well visits, with 8% of those visits resulting in a referral to health agencies. Without a Safe and Well visit, almost 3,000 people may have suffered adversely through lack of knowing where to turn or through not realising they may have something needing attention.
Cheshire residents can also carry out their own home safety check by completing a questionnaire on the Service website - www.cheshirefire.gov.uk - or by downloading the free Risk Rater app from the App Store or Google Play store.
Safe and Well Visits incorporate the traditional fire safety information (and smoke alarm fitting), but also offer additional advice on slips, trips, fall prevention, a heart check, bowel cancer screening as well as offering additional support to those who wish to stop smoking, taking drugs or reduce their alcohol consumption. During winter, winter warmth safety advice will also be discussed.
iESE is the public sectors transformation partner. Whilst iESE is evidence driven, unlike a consultancy iESE doesn’t just write reports but ensures that results are delivered. iESE has a track record for innovation having been reinventing public services since 2004.
Created by local authorities as a shared resource to transform public services and retain experience within the sector, iESE has supported a wide range of transformations throughout the UK.