Dementia patients “safety first” partnership in Bedford Borough Image By kalpis AdobeStock_111800810

A partnership between Bedfordshire Fire and Rescue Service (BFRS) and GPs in Bedford Borough has been launched.

It will undertake welfare checks on people with dementia and those they live with during a time when people cannot visit their family doctor due to Coronavirus. The service is open to those with a dementia diagnosis or people over 65-years-old with memory problems.

As part of the service, free smoke alarms will be provided where needed as well as a range of home safety issues examined such as electrical safety, cooking and trip hazards. There are specialist alarms for people who have impaired hearing or deafness.

GPs will send their patients a text which invites them via a link to visit the practice website which takes them to an information page with details of the service available. The information is available in English, Italian, Punjabi, Bangladeshi and Polish. A request for a home visit can be made on the same page.

Ian Howarth, from the Bedfordshire Fire and Rescue Service, said:

“Clearly the text will go to many patients who do not have dementia but we hope they will use the information to help their relatives who do have dementia to request a visit from us.

“There will be people with dementia still living in their own homes who do not use computers or smart phones but their family members do.

“This is a really important service which provides additional peace of mind for relatives knowing their family members are safer in their homes.”

The partnership will begin from 7 December and will run until early 2021 and it is hoped to extend it to other groups of patients with vulnerabilities in the New Year.