Working together to improve safety

News: MOU signing between Oxleas and LFB
Signed and sealed outside Memorial Hospital

An innovative partnership between Oxleas NHS Foundation Trust and the London Fire Brigade to further protect vulnerable people with mental health issues is already reaping results.

Initiated by Richard Welch, Borough Commander for Bexley, the ground-breaking safeguarding strategy sees firefighters working closely with our mental health practitioners across Bexley, Bromley and Greenwich boroughs.

It means information is shared through each borough's high risk panel process. Those on the panel, as well as Oxleas staff include colleagues from the police, housing, ambulance service and more recently the fire service.

An official memorandum of understanding (MOU) was signed on 30 July by Iain Dimond, director of Adult Mental Health and Learning Disability Services at Oxleas and Richard Welch, to cement the working partnership.

Innovative partnership

Iain Dimond said: "This innovative partnership allows us to identify a potentially vulnerable person and their wider community and take joint action to improve their safety with preventative measures. This agreement will not just cover people with mental health issues, we also provide a wealth of community health services where people with physical or learning disabilities receive support and care in their own homes. If there is a fire at the home of someone with disabilities, it helps the firefighters if they are aware of that."

Richard Welch said: "As an organisation we have not had these links before and we have already seen some great referrals. An example of this is that we have been able to fit smoke alarms at flats in a block where a hoarder with a history of fire-setting behaviour lives. This means improved safety for everyone."

Published on 31st July 2015