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NHS England announces plans for fire service to undertake health checks

The fire service is to carry out hundreds of thousands of health checks at the same time as carrying out regular safety checks in people’s homes, the head of the NHS in England has confirmed.

Under the new scheme, outlined by NHS chiefs last month, firefighters will check for trip and fall hazards, remind people to get their flu vaccinations and make sure homes are kept warm in winter.  

According to the Independent on Sunday, Public Health England is funding pilots in Manchester, Staffordshire and Gloucestershire to test whether the visits can reduce A&E admissions and even reduce the number of winter deaths.

Speaking to the paper, NHS England chief executive Simon Stevens said the scheme was ‘a golden opportunity’ for the NHS to ‘piggyback’ off the fire service’s 670,000 home-safety visits carried out each year, ‘to help prevent falls, broken hips and hospital admissions’.  

It comes after NICE public health guidance called on GP practices to check at least once a year whether their elderly or vulnerable patients are at risk from living in a cold home and, where needed, refer them for help.

Readers' comments (15)

  • exactly what percentage of the population can expect to have a fire brigade out with them in an average flu season , who while dealing with your life threatening fire also will kindly ask you to mind and pop to the GP when the flames have gone out ?

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  • you do have to treat NHSE as a bit of a joke.

    Honestly can anyone say the words NO in that organisation!

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  • while they are there can they also check the boiler, heating, BP , pulse, food supplies: do the job of Dr, plumber, social services etc and see how it feels!

    hope the outcome of the visit isnt : Dear GP--------

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  • Brilliant Idea!! I wish have similar services when we go to buy grocery.They will take care of your clothes car etc.very innovative idea.They can even check whether your loo needs flushing.

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  • So, we tell NHS England we are fighting fires - they send a fire engine.

    Is this not taking right time, right place, right person a bit too literally?

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  • Ha ha ha ha ha ha ha
    Ha ha ha ha ha ha
    Ha ha ha ha
    Ha ha ha
    Ha ha
    Ha ha ha ha ha ha ha
    Ha ha ha ha ha ha
    Ha ha ha ha
    Ha ha ha
    Ha ha

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  • When something is not right , anything, who do you think they will contact

    The all knowing GP as we have nothing else to do

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  • Omg now I'll have to filter through hundreds of letters from the fire service! "Dear Dr".

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  • Guess where I will be putting the paper work generated,straight into the pending shredder!.

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  • My sympathy for the Fire Brigade who are facing similar cuts and already have their hands full. Is it a ploy to provoke a landslide exodus of Fire servicemen and privatization of that essential service too? When will they ever learn,.....?

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