Ground-breaking regional emergency and health service collaboration to improve quality of life in communities

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 wellbeing of people across our 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 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.

Area Manager for Fire Safety, Chris Kirby, said: “WYFRS is recognised by many as providing an excellent service to the community and has contributed to large reductions in fires and fire related injuries and fatalities over the years and now this experience of prevention work can be put to good use to support a wider health agenda.

“The factors that make people vulnerable to fire are often health and lifestyle vulnerabilities such as living alone, poor mobility (which can compromise escape), drug and alcohol misuse, mental health and poor household conditions such as hoarding. These are the types of lifestyles and risk factors that are too often present when we attend fatal house fires. To be able to provide support through basic advice or signpost vulnerable people to other agencies will allow WYFRS to further improve its early intervention and prevention service to best support those in society who are most vulnerable.”

Frances Cunning, from PHE in Yorkshire and the Humber added: “Saving people’s lives is what our emergency services do, day-in, day-out. They come into contact with many of the most vulnerable people in our communities and are perfectly placed to spot the dangers facing them.

“They are now bringing this experience to bear more widely, to support the health and well-being of vulnerable people across Yorkshire and the Humber and this formal agreement will help us to strengthen and develop this work, learning from each other.”

Blue light services and health partners met in Leeds on 21 November to launch this commitment, showcasing collaborative work that has already developed across the region and outlining future opportunities for closer working between.