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Improved falls response service for vulnerable people across Staffordshire and Stoke-on-Trent

Staffordshire Fire and Rescue Service and the NHS are working together on a new initiative to respond to uninjured falls patients across the county.

West Midlands Ambulance Service receive the calls and provide the initial clinical triage via 999 and NHS 111, to ensure patients are provided with the most appropriate care for their needs.

The new Falls Response Team can be tasked to respond to non-injury falls where patients may need to be helped to their feet or a chair, and checked to ensure they’re safe and well.

The team have received bespoke training, use specialist equipment and look to resolve any immediate problems that might have caused the fall.

They can provide basic first aid and assist in providing ‘Safe and Well’ advice, which includes home fire safety information, as well as signposting to other partners for further support where necessary.

The Falls Response Team, work on a rota basis covering, 8am – 8pm, seven days a week.

Speaking of the scheme, Head of Prevent, Protect and Partnerships, Ian Read, said: “Delivering this new service means that we can work together to support the NHS at a really crucial time, as we continue through the busy winter season, hopefully preventing unnecessary hospital admissions.

“However, I must stress that patients should contact the NHS in the usual way, in order for the initial clinical triage assessment to take place, and not to contact the fire service directly for assistance. This is to ensure that patients are provided with the most appropriate care and response for their needs.

“We are a few months into the scheme now and the team have been able to effectively contribute to helping over 100 individuals who needed assistance. We’ve received some great feedback from their families too, so it’s clear that they are making a positive difference.

“This scheme also allows us to interact with some very vulnerable individuals in our community and we can utilise these opportunities to ensure that they are as safe as possible within their own homes.”

Staffordshire Commissioner for Police, Fire & Rescue and Crime, Ben Adams said: “A key priority in my Fire & Rescue Plan, and the government’s White Paper on Fire reform, is for the service to use the expertise and capability of its teams to assist in other areas of demand, such as health.

“This falls trial is an excellent example of the ‘and Rescue’ part of the service’s name, offering potentially life-saving support for the most vulnerable people within our communities.”

Dr Paul Edmondson-Jones Chief Medical Officer for the Staffordshire and Stoke-on-Trent Integrated Care Board (ICB) said: “I’m delighted this new initiative has got off to such a positive start with glowing patient feedback. Falls are one of the leading causes of avoidable hospital admissions. Very often the damage is done by not being able to get back to your feet and lying on the ground for an extended time, not the initial fall. Fire & Rescue Officers already do a great deal to make sure people live in safe homes and this is a valuable extension of this work that is already reducing harm and helping with demand on NHS services.”


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