Closer working between Telecare and Fire Services
An objective of the current Telecare support programme within the region is to explore collaboration with partner agencies, one example being Fire Services.
September 23rd saw the first meeting between West Midlands Fire Service (WMFS) and a number of local authority Telecare services at the WMFS headquarters in Birmingham; the objective of this initial meeting was to get a better understanding of the different initiatives within WMFS and how each local authority is interacting with local Fire Service colleagues, and hopefully to establish some common areas of interest going forward.
Many thanks must be given to WMFS for hosting a very engaging meeting (and for offering to host the next meeting),
and an unexpected tour around the Safeside demonstration facility that everyone enjoyed (and took away some important messages as well as ideas for better communication with the public), a very good scheme to raise awareness not only of fire safety but also a wide range of topics within the home and community – http://www.safeside.org.uk/
Out of the meeting came five particular actions to share with colleagues across the region via the regional Telehealthcare network, and the agreement from the group to hold another meeting on Monday 16th December.
- Authorities across the region use different types of smoke detectors and purchase them independently of each other – the action is to gather information from each local authority that wants to provide details on what types of smoke detectors they use, are they linked to the fire service, where do they buy them from and what price they are paying per unit. Based on this information there may be merit in exploring better usage of smoke detectors by ensuring everyone is using recommended units and the potential for collaboration on
procurement of smoke detectors in the future
- Referral pathways into Telecare services differ across each authority – some allow paper forms, faxes, emails, phone calls; others promote the use of a single front door or online e-referral – the action is to capture information on current referral methods specifically for Fire Services referring into Telecare – is there a uniform method or best practice option. Secondly is there a simple set of questions that Fire Services should ask when visiting an individual that will help them identify a potential Telecare need?
- WMFS is leading on the production of an awareness video on AT for Fire Services, using Bilbrook AT Home in particular to help demonstrate types of equipment and how they can benefit individuals and their carers – feedback from the regional Telecare role would help in reviewing the content and message
- One of the simplest activities that should take place but very often is missing is information sharing across agencies – transparent information on which Telecare users are known to the Fire Service – there are too many instances occurring where simple transparency of information could have saved lives and avoided crises
- Finally a question from WMFS to local authorities in the region: what activities / services would you look to the Fire Service to provide?
- In some authorities the Fire Service are fitting smoke alarms, Walsall for example
- Perhaps supporting prevention initiatives in the community, like the Living Well Feeling Safe partnership in Dudley
All in all a very productive session, and again thanks go to representation from Solihull, Telford & Wrekin, Dudley, Wolverhampton and Sandwell Councils for being part of a first meeting; and hopefully opportunities for colleagues from other authorities in the West Midlands to attend in the future.
Feedback and sharing of good practices across Telecare and interaction with Fire Services are always welcome.
For more information on the regional Telecare support programme, please contact:
M: 07970 567332