Emergency services from the four corners of Yorkshire and the Humber, along with NHS England and Public Health England, have pledged to work even closer together for the benefit of the health and well-being of people across the region.
Launched today (Tuesday 21 November 2017), the Yorkshire and Humber Emergency Services Prevention and Early Intervention Consensus Statement has been co-ordinated by Public Health England.
Police, ambulance and fire and rescue services share a long history of effective collaborative working and the signing of a consensus to extend this partnership approach is the first regional agreement in the country.
With demand for health and social care rising, the main focus of the services is to use their joint intelligence and skills to support communities with ill-health prevention and early intervention where problems are identified.
This includes greater sharing and development of referral pathways into key services such as falls prevention and support for mental health, alcohol and drug problems, advice to keep homes warm and social support to combat loneliness and isolation.
The Yorkshire and Humber Emergency Services Prevention and Early Intervention Consensus involves
- Yorkshire Ambulance Service NHS Trust
- Humberside Fire & Rescue Service
- Humberside Police
- Humberside Police and Crime Commissioner
- North Yorkshire Fire & Rescue Service
- North Yorkshire Police
- North Yorkshire Police and Crime Commissioner
- South Yorkshire Fire & Rescue Service
- South Yorkshire Police
- South Yorkshire Police and Crime Commissioner
- West Yorkshire Fire & Rescue Service
- West Yorkshire Police
- West Yorkshire Police and Crime Commissioner
- British Transport Police
- NHS England
- Public Health England Yorkshire & Humber
Emergency services’ staff come into contact with vulnerable people every day and see health inequalities and social challenges first-hand. By tackling these risks jointly and more effectively, the main aim is to improve the quality of life for individuals and ultimately reduce demand on the busy emergency services.
In South Yorkshire, firefighters gain access to properties at incidents where people are thought to be in need of urgent medical attention, but where ambulance service paramedics cannot get to them, for example when they are locked indoors. The work used to be carried out by police officers, so is helping to save thousands of hours of police time each year.
Fire service staff deliver falls, crime and healthy aging advice to older people in Doncaster, after a new programme of ‘safe and well’ visits was launched last year. This work will soon be extended to Barnsley, Rotherham and Sheffield.
More than 50 people have also been referred for life changing eyesight support under a successful partnership with charities for the blind. The referrals were made thanks to ‘Optimeyes’- a two year partnership between South Yorkshire Fire & Rescue (SYFR) and Royal National Institute of Blind People (RNIB).
SYFR Deputy Chief Fire Officer Martin Blunden, said: “In the last decade, the fire service has helped to make South Yorkshire safer than it has been at any time in its history in terms of house fires. But we believe we can play a much wider role in terms of tackling some of the big health challenges our country faces in the future.
“This consensus statement is the perfect illustration of that aspiration, where we use the coordinated efforts and expertise of emergency services in our region to improve the lives of vulnerable groups through targeted early intervention activity.”
Rod Barnes, Chief Executive of Yorkshire Ambulance Service, said: “This is a great opportunity to work together even more closely and deliver greater support to the most vulnerable members of our communities. By coordinating our efforts we stand a better chance of addressing widespread health and wellbeing problems and improving the quality of people’s lives.”