14 August 2009
A scheme that enables vulnerable people to receive vital help from a variety of sources with the minimum of fuss was extended to South Bucks this week, and will cover the whole of Buckinghamshire from next month.
The Home Safety Check initiative - which was already operating in Chiltern and Aylesbury Vale, and launches in Wycombe on 3 September - is administered by Buckinghamshire Fire & Rescue Service.
It’s the result of collaboration between emergency services, councils, the NHS, voluntary organisations, charities and housing associations. A similar scheme, called Safe at Home, runs in Milton Keynes.
Terry Ridgley, Buckinghamshire Fire & Rescue Service’s community safety manager, said: “The Home Safety Check scheme is designed to make life much easier for members of the community who need help and support to live safely and independently in their own homes.
“The first person from any professional agency that has to visit a vulnerable adult at home can identify any areas of need, and then call on other agencies who may be able to provide the appropriate information or services.
“All the organisations involved have worked together to devise a simple, single form that incorporates questions relating to accident, fire and crime prevention. Each time an officer from any involved agency makes a home visit, either routinely or to provide a special service, he or she can fill in one of these forms.”
For example, if firefighters are fitting smoke alarms in someone’s home as part of a fire safety visit, and the occupant also wants information about home security or social services, that information can be passed on to the appropriate agency for action to be taken.
Terry added: “It avoids duplication of referrals and is a shining example of just how closely and effectively our organisations are pooling their resources and working together for the benefit of the communities they serve.”
A launch event was held at South Bucks District Council's offices in Denham this week. It was attended by Councillor David Rowlands, Chairman of Buckinghamshire & Milton Keynes Fire Authority, and representatives of the other agencies involved.
They include South Bucks District Council, Buckinghamshire County Council, Thames Valley Police, the Primary Care Trust, Buckinghamshire Drug and Alcohol Action Team, Help the Aged/Age Concern, Bucks Vision, the Royal National Institute for Deaf People, Neighbourhood Watch, L&Q Housing and Paradigm Housing.
- For more information about the Home Safety Check scheme in Aylesbury Vale, Chiltern, South Bucks and (from 3 September) Wycombe, ring 01296 744477 or send an email to email@example.com
- For more information about the Safe at Home scheme in Milton Keynes, ring 01908 557886 or send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org