Bedfordshire Fire and Rescue crews will be supporting the East of England Emergency Service NHS Trust (EEAST) in responding to non-emergency falls patients as part of a new programme.
EEAST is rolling out a Falls Response Programme across the region with its network of community first responders (CFRs) and fire and rescue services.
Falls can account for up to 20% of the EEAST patients on a daily basis, some falls are serious and patients need to be transported to hospital for further treatment, but some people that have fallen just need to be helped to their feet or a chair and checked to ensure they are safe to be left at home.
The programme involves community first responders or fire and rescue crews responding to calls that the EEAST have clinically assessed, they are trained to assist the patient from the floor and undertake an assessment. This is then discussed with a clinician in the control room to ensure the patient can be left at home.
Bedfordshire Fire and Rescue is the latest to join this programme, with a dedicated vehicle based at their Ampthill station staffed by fire engagement officers (non-fire trained personnel) who have undergone a CFR training course and additional falls training.
The resource will also be available to respond to cardiac arrests - as do other CFRs taking part in the programme.
Marcus Bailey, chief operating officer for EEAST, said: “Even when people experience the less serious kind of falls they can still be very distressing, so improving our response to these patients, and reducing the time they are on the floor is essential.
“We are very pleased to be working with our Blue Light colleagues in Bedfordshire and other locations to provide prompt help and assessment for these patients.”