East Sussex Fire & Rescue Service has launched a pilot project working with a Peacehaven GP surgery in a bid to help save lives.
If successful, this will be rolled out in the future to other GP surgeries across the service area.
The idea behind this initiative is to assist in highlighting potential issues experienced by high-risk patients to help reduce the numbers of admissions to hospital.
Fire Service Safe and Well Practitioner, Susan Taylor, is working closely with the Peacehaven Rowe Avenue Surgery to feedback any concerns arising from home visits, which are subsequently flagged up.
The way in which this works is that the practitioner is sent a list of 100 referrals each month, who are then individually contacted via a phone call or, if required, a home visit.
This information helps to identify those most vulnerable who may possibly benefit from further support and interventions, which are then identified through a specialist visit.
Susan explains more: “East Sussex Fire & Rescue Service is a trusted brand, which is a great way to get our foot in the door to ensure that everybody is able to cope in their own home. We are able to flag up any issues of isolation, frailty, or those who do not have support or family nearby.
“We believe it is crucial to do this to help keep people out of hospital and we are able to do this by gaining access into people’s homes and report any safeguarding, or health, issues. Evidence has shown us that vulnerable people are more prone to fires if they are neglected, or left, in the home alone. Using sub-standard means for heat can also potentially place a resident at risk of having a fire.
“This also enables us to identify and reduce risks to and from fire, as well as refer vulnerable individuals to relevant agencies, who can provide support and interventions. Also, we are able to provide face-to-face support to enhance general wellbeing.
“By working in partnership with a doctor’s surgery we can work towards averting accidents in the home, which can result in additional strain to an already busy NHS. A bone fractured in a fall causes untold pain and anguish as well as reduces the individual’s independence during their recovery to health.
For every 25 visits made a potential life can be saved. The following interventions can be made by the Service’s Safe and Well Practitioner:
- Assess how the referral is feeling.
- Adult referrals can be made to Adult Social Care.
- Specialist smoke alarms, with a vibrating plate and strobe light, if they have a hearing impairment.
- Provide fire retardant bedding/lap blanket.
- Fit Carbon Monoxide detectors.
- Refer on to other specialist professionals.
FACTORS THAT MY INCREASE THE RISK TO AND FROM FIRE
- FIRE RISK
- LIVING CONDITIONS
- PROPERTY MAINTENANCE
- EYESIGHT / HEARING
- MENTAL HEALTH / DEMEMTIA
- PRESCRIBED MEDICATION
- SLIPS & FALLS
- SCAMS / FINANCE
- GENERAL SUPPORT NEEDS