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Bedfordshire Fire and Rescue Service

Bedfordshire Fire and Rescue Service serves and engages with Bedfordshire communities in the following ways Prevention: Helping people to stay safe through education and advice Protection: Inspecting buildings to ensure that they comply with relevant fire safety legislation Response: Attending emergency incidents Consultation and Engagement - We seek the views of the community and groups or individuals within communities to ensure that we are meeting their needs, reflecting their views on priorities and to seek collaborative opportunities to make their community safer. Our organisational objectives are: 1. To respond effectively, manage risks and reduce the number of emergency incidents we attend 2. To ensure high standards of corporate governance and continued service improvement 3. To develop our employees and create a safe, fair and caring workplace for our staff To deliver this we have operational staff based at 14 Community Fire Stations throughout the County and also work closely with a wide range of delivery partners. In addition, our main HQ site at Kempston hosts our control centre, workshops and training centre and many of the vital non-operational support staff functions.

Updated:
8 September 2020
Location:
East of England
Sectors:
Emergency Services Sector
Local Alliances:
Luton Dementia Action Alliance

1. Action Plan

1. The National Dementia Declaration lists seven outcomes that the DAA are seeking to achieve for people with dementia and their carers. How would you describe your organisation’s role in delivering better outcomes for people with dementia and their carers?

Bedfordshire Fire and Rescue Service (BFRS) have a pivotal role in delivering better outcome for people who are living with dementia and their carers.  We do this by offering Safe and Well visits to the most vulnerable people within Bedfordshire, including people who are living with dementia and their carers.

Advice and guidance is offered to people within their homes.  The aim of the Safe and Well visit is to reduce the risk of an accidental dwelling fire.  Areas of discussion include escape routes, smoking, cooking safely, crime prevention and fall risks.  If required a referral to a partner agency for additional support can be made.

 

Safe and Well visits are delivered by Home Safety Advisors working within our specialist Prevention team, operational Firefighters and a range of partners who provide this service on our behalf. BFRS will ensure that those delivering the visit are aware of the signs and symptoms of dementia, are able to access Dementia Awareness training, and that all Safe and Well packs include information on dementia.

 

We believe that these actions will help the Service to identify signs of dementia, enable those whom staff have concerns about to be appropriately assessed and if diagnosed receive the support of specialised services so that they can live independently in their own homes for longer whilst protecting them from the dangers of fire. 

 

BFRS work closely with various partner agencies including Bedfordshire Police who regularly send us referrals for people who are registered with them for the Herbert Protocol, Local Authorities, Alzheimer’s Society and dementia support groups.  We are also able to refer to their services and attend support groups to give general advice and then have one to one discussions which usually result in being invited to their home to provide them with a Safe and Well visit.

2. What are the challenges to delivering these outcomes from the perspective of your organisation?

Awareness for our staff of the significant issues that dementia is causing society and the projected growth in the number of people suffering from dementia is a key challenge for us.  In addition, getting our partners to understand the role that Fire and Rescue Services can play in assisting with initiatives that can promote independent living is also a challenge for us.

We also need to continually work with partners to promote that new build homes incorporate simple design methods for people living with dementia as well as raising awareness of interlinked technology e.g. smoke alarms and telephones on shared circuits.

We believe these actions will enable people living with dementia to live in their own home without a heightened risk of fire whilst balancing this against the cost of providing bespoke services in an era of austerity.

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Member website

www.bedsfire.com

2. Actions

  • Educating Our Staff

    Action 1 – To continue to develop staff awareness of dementia and related issues through Dementia Friends sessions and refreshers as well as commission more specialist training for our dedicated dementia home safety service

    Status:
    Delivery

    2020 - First Quarter Update

    This is one of 4 new actions agreed by the organisation in January 2020

    2020 - First Quarter Update

    Good links have been established with Alzheimer's Society and there will be periodic Dementia Friends sessions and refresher sessions provided. This will be ongoing.

    The Communications training is arranged but suspended due to Covid-19

  • Dementia Home Safety Pilot Service development

    This is an enhanced home safety and personal welfare check for people with a dementia diagnosis or those with memory problems and no diagnosis. It also includes all carers of those affected by dementia or memory problems. In addition to addressing home Fire and environmental safety, it will also serve as a route into primary care for those not diagnosed and it will support the general wellbeing of people in issues such as winter warmth. It will provide a source of referrals into other means of support for either the person affected or their carer who lives with them. Such services might be social inclusion networks or carer support. The visiting service may be carried out by Fire Service personnel or suitably qualified and trained partner organisation staff.

    Status:
    Uncompleted

    2020 - First Quarter Update

    This Pilot service has been running for 5 months and referral rates are beginning to increase but more are needed. 5 Partner organisations are being asked to make concerted efforts to achieve this.

  • Developing Dementia Advocacy

    We will develop a Dementia Advocacy role and recruit a range of staff to undertake first point of contact for advice, information and support

    Status:
    Initial Scoping

    2020 - First Quarter Update

    .One of 4 new ations agreed by the organisation in January 2020 and which scoping has begun through staff intranet and newsletter.

  • Produce dementia referral pathway and cascade to stations

    We aim to follow through on our organisational education and awareness raising programme by ensuring that whilst we are out in the community and engaging with the public we ensure that anybody affected by dementia who is in need of tertiary referral receives it with their consent.
    Status:
    Initial Scoping

    2020 - First Quarter Update

    We have finalised and adopted a new Safeguarding Policy and the work to develop comprehensive referral pathways from any organisational department are in place. This may support earlier diagnosis or help people stay in their own homes longer through receiving the right support and interventions. We are now scoping the workforce for Dementia Advocates (see Action 2) and they will undertake the related development work through quarters 2 - 4 2020