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NFCC supporting winter health campaign

17 October 2017

THE NATIONAL Fire Chiefs Council (NFCC) is supporting Public Health England’s (PHE) national ‘Stay Well This Winter’ campaign, which was launched on 12 October.

The partnership between NFCC and PHE means fire and rescue services across the country will be carrying out more ‘Safe and Well’ visits across the country in a bid to reduce excess winter deaths. Both organisations will be looking to build upon the successes of last year's campaign.
The average annual number of excess winter deaths in England and Wales from 2010/11 to 2014/15 was 28,584. Women aged over 75-years-old who live alone are at the highest risk. Following a joint project, vulnerable people have been identified and will be visited as part of the 670,000 visits carried out each year.  
Firefighters will visit the homes of vulnerable people to reduce the risk of fire, reduce health risks such as falls, loneliness and isolation, which should lead to fewer visits to Accident and Emergency, helping to reduce pressure on the NHS. 
The Safe and Well visits cover a range of subjects such as fire safety, smoke alarm checks, escape routes and warmth. Firefighters will also look for signs of loneliness and isolation and can signpost people to other organisations for additional help and assistance. 
Glynn Luznyj, on behalf of the NFCC Health Coordination Committee, said: “It is fantastic that the partnership working between Fire and Rescue Services and Public Health England is going from strength to strength. The work on the ‘Stay Well This Winter’ campaign is helping to keep people well over the winter period whilst also reducing the risk from fire”. 

PHE lead allied health professional and national engagement lead for Police and fire services Linda Hindle said; "The partnership between PHE and NFCC means we really focus on some of society’s most vulnerable people, including frail, older people and those with underlying health conditions.

"This year we will build upon the successes of the previous year's campaign which included face-to-face engagement with those most at risk, supported by the thousands of Stay Well This Winter leaflets, thermometers and flu-jab reminder cards and the national TV and radio campaign.”

Stay Well This Winter’ campaign will once again focus its resources on some of society's most vulnerable people – including frail, older people and those with underlying health conditions, including carers, pregnant women and the parents of small children. 
PHE is focusing on encouraging those most vulnerable to flu to get their free vaccinations ahead of the winter period when the virus is most common. PHE is aiming to vaccinate more people than ever – around 13 million people in total.