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Fire crew plays their part in new approach to elderly health care

Fire crews are preparing to move into a brand new £9 million Integrated Care Centre, joining forces with the NHS and other partners to help reduce unnecessary hospital admissions and transform elderly care.

The Jean Bishop Integrated Care Centre, on the site of the former David Lister School in East Hull, is named after Hull’s ‘Bee Lady’ Jean Bishop, who has raised more than £120,000 for older people’s charity Age UK while wearing her trademark bee costume since 2000.

Now, as the development is due to be completed in April and teams prepare to move in over the following few months, Humberside Fire and Rescue Service crews from the existing Southcoates Lane Fire Station in East Hull will be among those setting up home on the new site in a unique partnership approach.

Building on the success of the Humberside Fire and Rescue Service and health-led Hull FIRST Falls Response Team, specially trained fire personnel will support community safety and rehabilitation programmes, as well as continuing to provide a dedicated fire and rescue service to the community.

The health aspect of their role will support the aims of the centre, which includes keeping primarily elderly residents fit, out of hospital and independent in their own homes.

Chris Blacksell, Chief Fire Officer at Humberside Fire and Rescue Service, said: “This new station has been a few years in the planning and it is testament to the hard work of all the partners and organisations that we are now just a couple of months away from moving our crews across here.

“Our historic East Hull home has stood on Southcoates Lane since just before World War II and is very much at the heart of the community. It will be tough for some to leave there, but, as with other recent new stations in Hull, this new facility will create its own history and memories, and we are proud to be part of the groundbreaking Jean Bishop Integrated Care Centre.

“We have successfully worked alongside health colleagues in Hull for a number of years now and the Falls Team has proved how the fire/health partnership has made a real difference to people’s lives. Such proximity to the city’s new care centre will enable us to further realise our ‘Safe and Well’ initiative, which sees fire crews working with the socially isolated and reducing the risk of falls.

“There will be further opportunities for close collaboration with our health sector colleagues as a result of this new location. But our East Hull crews will continue to provide a first class fire and rescue service to this community, and the city of Hull, as they have done for nearly 80 years.”

The Jean Bishop Integrated Care Centre, which will be open seven days per week, will primarily treat elderly patients with long term conditions who have been referred to their GP as being at risk of hospital admission.

Following assessment, patients will have a detailed integrated care plan formed and a care coordinator appointed on the same day, with therapists, voluntary services and other specialist services based under one roof.

Hull City Council gifted the land for the facility, as well the Newbridge Village social housing scheme for over 65s, and NHS Hull Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) has driven the project and vision forward with partners and providers.

Emma Latimer, NHS Hull CCG Chief Officer, said: “I am delighted that work on the new fire station is nearing completion as this is a fantastic element of Hull’s new Integrated Care Centre.

“We have taken an innovative approach to the way we support frail, older people within the community. The health and care services in the facility will really focus on improving health outcomes and patient experience, and we are leading the way in Hull by collaborating with Humberside Fire and Rescue Service whose expert skills will support the care and rehabilitation of patients.

“This is another example of public sector partners in Hull working together to support some of the most frail and vulnerable people in the city and I am proud to be part of this fabulous development.”

Developer Citycare has developed over £100 million of new and improved health and wellbeing facilities on behalf of its public sector partners across Hull since 2004, and has appointed Sewell Construction and Sewell Facilities Management to build and maintain the facility following a robust procurement process.

Department of Health and Social Care-owned company Community Health Partnerships (CHP) is investing in the building and will be head tenant.

Sewell Construction is also working alongside United Living, which is developing the 82 social houses, primarily bungalows, for the over 65s under separate plans for Newbridge Village on the same site on behalf of Pickering & Ferens Homes.

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