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CCG and fire service partnership scheme supports patients during coronavirus lockdown

NHS Wakefield CCG has teamed up with West Yorkshire Fire and Rescue Service to help patients with urgent medical needs during the coronavirus lockdown.

Fire Service volunteers standing around vehicle

Fire Service volunteers and Wakefield CCG are working together

Volunteers from the fire service have been on hand to provide medication drops and transport GPs to patients’ homes outside normal hours.

The scheme – a prime example of partnership working in Wakefield – has provided patients who may have been anxious about how to get urgent medication or a GP visit at home out of hours with much needed support.

The CCG, which pays for healthcare services for people in Wakefield, approached the fire service for help in April and now the scheme has been extended until mid-June.

Both organisations are members of West Yorkshire Prepared - the region's multi-agency partnership that sees services work together to prepare for and respond to major emergencies in our communities.

When the CCG identifies a vulnerable patient who may have an urgent need, they contact the West Yorkshire Fire and Rescue Service volunteering coordinator.

They are on call to organise a response between 6pm and 10pm, seven days a week.

Mel Brown, NHS Wakefield CCG Director of Commissioning - Integrated Health and Care, said: “These are unprecedented times which require local services to pull together to support our population the best way we can.

“We are therefore hugely grateful for the support of West Yorkshire Fire and Rescue Service who have been only too willing to get behind the local effort against this global disease.

“The feedback has been superb, with comments highlighting how easy it has been to arrange assistance from the fire service and often a volunteer has turned up to help in a matter of minutes.”

West Yorkshire Fire and Rescue Service’s Wakefield District Commander Lee Miller said: “Fire Service staff are proud to serve the people of Wakefield in any way possible, and are often involved in community initiatives.

“The medicine drop scheme is an extension of this, and we are happy to be involved to help make these essential deliveries during this difficult time.

 “We have guidance and procedures in place to keep to social distancing rules and are wearing personal protective equipment while doing so.

“There are so many examples in Wakefield of people in the community helping support the vulnerable, and we’re happy to play our part in this way.”