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Fire Service teaming up with NHS in visits to the vulnerable

Staffordshire Fire and Rescue Service and University Hospitals of North Midlands are joining forces to make sure vulnerable members of the community are protected.

Safe and well teams from the fire service are undertaking additional training to help them signpost residents who may have underlying health conditions to get them help they need.

People between the ages of 55 and 74 who have smoked or still smoke will be signposted to the UHNM Targeted Lung Health Check (TLHC) service. It will help the NHS to identify problems such as lung cancer as early as possible and make sure the patient receives the appropriate support and advice - giving them a better chance of finding issues early and treating them effectively.

The scheme also aims to reduce the number of accidental house fires in Staffordshire caused by smoking. Vulnerable people who are screened will be given tailored support and guidance to help them quit.

Carmel Warren, Partnership and Intervention Manager at Staffordshire Fire and Rescue Service, said: “We are continuing our work with colleagues in the NHS by introducing these additional training procedures to ensure the residents in our community are looked after as effectively as possible.

“Last July, we introduced additional training to help our emergency service colleagues spot risk factors around the homes of vulnerable people during visits – including nurses, councillors, police officers and more by moving our Olive Branch training to online delivery.

“This new partnership will allow us to work more effectively with County Hospital and Royal Stoke University Hospital to ensure people are aware of the risks of smoking – both from a health and fire safety perspective.

“We will brief all the teams on this partnership by producing a video explaining the project, we will also provide a guide on how to raise the referral and all teams will be given information leaflets to hand out to residents when they perform a Safe and Well Visit”.

Janina Barnett , Programme Manager, of Targeted Lung Health Team “We are delighted to team up with colleagues at Staffordshire Fire and Rescue service to ensure some of our most vulnerable residents are informed and have access to our potentially lifesaving screening service which aims to diagnose lung cancer at an early stage when treatment can be simpler and more successful.”

Since the start of the lung health checks programme in 2019, 76% of lung cancers have been diagnosed at an early stage. For more information about the programme please visit www.uhnm.nhs.uk/TLC

For more information or if you would like to refer someone for a Safe and Well visit, please email contactcentre@staffordshirefire.gov.uk or call 0800 0241999.

For more information on Olive Branch learning and keeping people safe from fire in their homes, visit: https://learnliveuk.com/olive-branch/ where you can register for an account and complete the training.