Fire as a Health Asset: A new partnership

A new partnership has been established between NHS England and Fire and Rescue Services (FRSs) to use their resources to support older people and those with long-term conditions.

The new ‘Consensus Statement‘ launched on Older People’s day on 1 October encourages local commissioners and FRSs to carry out more ‘Safe and Well’ checks in people’s homes when they visit.

Working with commissioners, FRSs will aim to extend the 670,000 home safety checks already carried out each year into a ‘Safe and Well’ visit to help particularly the vulnerable and those with complex conditions. To help do this, we have also jointly published design principles for safe and well visits, which can be tailored to reflect local needs.

As well as reducing the risks of a fire, they will aim to reduce health risks such as falls, loneliness and isolation which will also reduce unplanned admissions and help people to stay in their own homes safely and for longer.

The fire fighters may for example quickly install a handrail, identify and address falls hazards such as loose rugs, spot hazards such as piled up papers, support earlier discharge or signpost people to local groups for help, support or company.

The Consensus Statement has been produced by five organisations – NHS England, Public Health England, the Chief Fire Officers Association, Age UK and the Local Government Association.

Some CCGs have established relationships with their local FRS to support older people and those with LTCs or are currently developing links as part of STP planning. However, a number of CCGs have asked how they could begin working with their local FRS and what they can expect. To help answer these questions we have published ‘Working Together‘. Read the latest update on Fire as a Health Asset by Jacquie White here or, for further information, contact england.longtermconditions@nhs.net.

Links, supporting documents and resources

For more information

Contact us at england.longtermconditions@nhs.net

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