Posted: Wednesday 1 April 2020, 09:56
From today, Firefighters, Community Support Officers and Support staff from across Derbyshire Fire & Rescue Service will be supporting vulnerable members of our community by delivering prescriptions and contacting people as part of a telephone befriending service.
Recently the government put in place measures to prevent the spread of Covid19 and to protect our NHS. People are being asked to stay at home with the exception of collecting essential supplies, travel to and from work, and one outing for exercise.
Prescription medicines are essential for many of the most vulnerable people in our communities, the very people who have been told to stay at home and shield themselves from the virus. A lot of these vulnerable people have no one to talk to and no one who can fetch and deliver vital medicines to them - this is where the fire and rescue service can help.
Speaking ahead of the launch of a prescription delivery initiative, Station Manager Nathan Stevens said: “We’ve joined forces with Peak Pharmacy and various independent pharmacies to assist with the delivery of vital medicines, from over 50 pharmacies across the county, to the most vulnerable members of our communities. I'm really pleased that DFRS can assist our community with vital supplies in these unprecedented times.”
Peak Pharmacy Director Joe Cattee said: “Due to the huge increase in demand for delivery of patient’s medication, we are extremely grateful that DFRS were able to support Peak Pharmacy.
“The support to both the Pharmacy teams, and to our Patients is invaluable during this unprecedented time and It’s fantastic to see local businesses and communities working together to look after those that require it most in their time of need.”
The delivery of medicines and prescriptions is not the only support being given to the community.
A telephone befriending service is also being launched by DFRS today. Staff from across the Service will be contacting people over the age of 70, and those deemed vulnerable under the age of 70, to have a friendly chat and talk them through some key safety points.
Area Manager Roy Reynold said: “Whilst responding to 999 emergency calls is our number one priority, we are looking at innovative ways in which we can support the NHS, by helping people to stay safe and well at home.
“The delivery of prescriptions is just one way we can help, but we also recognise that many people who are at home shielding from the virus, are alone with no one to talk to.
“Staff working on our telephone befriending service will contact people who are already known to the Service, over the age of 70, or identified as vulnerable and have a general friendly chat about a range of subjects.
“Our aim is not to provide medical advice, but simply give them someone to talk to in their time of isolation. The friendly chats will also give us an opportunity to remind them of the important safety advice being issued and signpost them to any other agencies that they may need.”
Mr Reynolds went onto say: “This is an unprecedented time and it is humbling to see everyone pulling together to support the NHS and our communities. Please continue to support us by staying at home and helping to save lives.”
For information about keeping fire safe in your home visit www.derbys-fire.gov.uk