LIFESAVING work by Cheshire firefighters working with health professionals has won a fourth award in the first year of the Safe and Well programme.

The collaboration between the NHS, Cheshire Fire and Rescue Service (CFRS) and Merseyside Fire and Rescue Service, has won the Working Together Award at the iESE Public Sector Transformation Awards 2018.

These awards are open to any public body in England, Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland along with partners in the voluntary community and private sector.

Nick Evans, head of prevention at Cheshire Fire and Rescue Service, said: “We are delighted that the fantastic work of our firefighters and prevention team advocates has been recognised by this award.

“The visits have been invaluable in increasing the number of interventions which take place in the home of the most vulnerable in Cheshire."

CFRS has a strong record of prevention work to help protect vulnerable people from fire risk in the home and the Service expanded its advice and support to vulnerable residents.

Nick added: “This early intervention means that the services can give safety and wellbeing advice to these people before any problems become larger and, particularly in the cases of bowel cancer and atrial fibrillation which are potentially life threatening, before they present at A&E.”

The Independent Cancer Taskforce set an ambitious task for the NHS to make significant progress in preventing and reducing preventable cancers, increasing cancer survival and improving patient experience and quality of life by 2020.

Fire and rescue staff encounter vulnerable people on a daily basis which makes firefighters ideally placed to deliver additional messages due to the trust people place in them.

As well as giving fire safety advice and fitting smoke alarms, firefighters and advocates also give out information on avoiding slips, trips and falls, alcohol and smoking cessation, atrial fibrillation and bowel cancer screening kits.

Cllr Bob Rudd, Chairman of Cheshire Fire Authority, added: “CFRS is delighted to have been awarded the Working Together Award at the 2018 iESA Public Sector Transformation Awards.

“The CFRS Safe and Well work is a fantastic example of public sector collaboration and partnership working for the good of the people we serve.”

This award recognises the ground-breaking work the service is doing in partnership with health partners to increase bowel cancer screening rates in the north west, as well as specific work in Cheshire to screen people at risk from atrial fibrillation, one of the main causes of strokes.

Cllr Rudd added: "The Working Together award recognises that residents and local businesses benefit greatly from not having to deal with multiple contact points and agencies when it comes to accessing public services.

“There is also a benefit to those services, through building a better picture of the needs of individual customers, patterns of demand and a better understanding of vulnerable groups and events likely to cause peaks in demand."