Warwickshire Fire and Rescue Service has helped more than 900 people through its Hospital to Home scheme since it launched in August 2018.
Warwickshire County Council’s Fire and Rescue Service were commissioned to deliver the ground-breaking scheme in partnership with Public Health, Adult Social Care and Warwickshire Primary Care Hospitals in 2018.
The aim of the programme was to support elderly and vulnerable patients who have been treated at hospital and are well enough to go home to get back to where they feel safe and can be supported to live independently. That could be either in their own home or to a care home if additional support is required.
The scheme has helped to reduce the number of patients who have previously had to be admitted to hospital because they had no immediate friends or family to help them get home.
Once home, the patient is then settled in by the Hospital to Home team, which may involve getting them a cup of tea and something to eat before making a referral for a safe and well check.
The check involves looking for potential hazards which could cause slips, trips and falls, through to a fire safety assessment ensuring that the resident has food to eat. All of which help to reduce preventable re-admissions to hospital and ensure that a timely, person-centred service is provided.
The scheme which currently runs 12 hours a day, every day of the year is funded from Warwickshire County Council’s Improved Better Care Fund.
Warwickshire Fire and Rescue Service Station Commander for Prevention, Keith McDermott said: “Since the launch of the Hospital to Home scheme we have helped over 900 people gain their independence and get home to where they feel safe and supported either by a trusted friend, family members or via referrals made by the team to support agencies if it’s required.
“By working closely with our partners, we are making a real difference to the lives of vulnerable residents as well as relieving pressure on the NHS. This could not be done without a whole team approach and I am hopeful that we will continue to deliver the service into 2020 and beyond.”
Warwickshire County Council's Portfolio Holder for Fire and Community Safety, Cllr Andy Crump, added: “This service is part of the wide range of work that our crews carry out to keep the public safe.
"It is fantastic to see the very real impact it has had on the lives of vulnerable residents in Warwickshire and the NHS. It is a truly collaborative approach and something that all partners should be really proud of.”
Those delivering the service are not on duty and are used on a self-rostering basis, so they are only on duty, when they inform Warwickshire Fire Control that they are available.