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PEOPLE with mental health issues who are at greater risk of fire in the home are to be offered potentially life-saving support thanks to a new partnership agreement.
Greater Manchester Fire and Rescue Service (GMFRS) met with health chiefs from 5 Boroughs Partnership NHS Foundation Trust on Friday, October 31, 2014, to formalise years of collaborative working.
The signing of the partnership marked a declaration of both organisations’ intention to work together to help people with mental health issues be safer in their homes.
It comes after statistics revealed 30 per cent of people killed in fires across Greater Manchester were known to mental health services.
The agreement will involve collaborative working with 5 Boroughs Partnership to improve patient safety and raise the awareness operational fire crews have of mental health issues.
GMFRS will train NHS mental health workers to recognise increased risk factors amongst patients which can include living alone, chaotic lifestyles, hoarding, substance misuse, memory impairment and smoking.
Director of Prevention and Protection, ACFO Peter O’Reilly, said: “For years we have identified people who suffer from mental health issues are at increased risk of fire.
“It has been a real challenge to have agreements in place with partners in order to reduce risk. The signing of the 5 Boroughs Partnership is the final piece in the jigsaw which will allow staff at GMFRS to develop and deliver training to partners which will reduce the risks of fire and other issues for people suffering from mental health.”
5 Borough’s, Director of Corporate Services, Nick Rowe, said: “The Trust will be able to seek consent from patients for fire officers to make home visits to provide dedicated fire safety advice and support. In return we will be helping operational fire crews to better understand and work with members of the public who may need support.
“I’d like to sincerely thank Assistant County Fire Officer (ACFO) Peter O’Reilly for extending his invitation to the Trust to come on-board with this initiative which GMFRS have shown great leadership in championing in the borough.”