New information hub for Emergency Services and public health

Linda Hindle, Deputy Chief Allied Health Professional Officer for England and Lead Allied Health Professional and National Engagement Lead for Public health in Police, Fire and Ambulance Services at Public Health England, explains why a new resource for the emergency services will help to share public health best practice.

“Over the past few years there has been growing emphasis on the role our emergency services play in improving health and well-being, protecting health and supporting vulnerable members of society as part of the work they do to keep communities safe.

I have had the pleasure of working with colleagues from fire and rescue services, police forces and ambulance trusts to develop joint plans alongside other national partners such as NHS England, the AACE, NARU and the Local Government Association to use our collective resources and skills to protect prevent harm to vulnerable people.

Examples of some of the joint work we have been undertaking include:

  • Development and evaluation of safe and well visits with Fire and Rescue services
  • A landscape review of collaborative working between police and health in England and Wales
  • Support to embed making every contact count within Ambulance Trusts

The development of these national partnerships, publication of consensus statements and work to support implementation is at different stages for each of the emergency services. It started with fire and rescue services in 2015 followed by ambulance services in 2017 and the most recent consensus publication was with the police in 2018.

There were good reasons for developing this work separately with each of the emergency services. Each had unique drivers and foci and was starting from different points. Nevertheless the ultimate aim remains the same, which is to keep people safe and well and the path taken to achieve this has been similar.

Whilst this work has developed in parallel it has been, and continues to be, important to learn from each other and share approaches where it makes sense to do so.

This week, RSPH launches a new Emergency Services Hub as part of its website to bring together all of the resources linked to public health and emergency services collaborations. Until now you had to know what you were looking for to find some of the fantastic resources because they sit on the websites of over seven organisations.

This hub collates the information into one place so that members of emergency services, public health professionals and health and social care staff are able to see all of the work being undertaken. We hope this will support shared learning and dissemination of good practice.

The hub includes:

  • Blog posts covering the emergency services and public health
  • The consensus statements in place for the respective emergency services
  • Evaluation reports and research relating to the emergency services and their work in public health
  • Guidance materials
  • Case studies that provide examples of how interventions from the emergency services have made a positive impact on the public’s health
  • Materials and content aimed at the public which relates to the emergency services’ work in public health
  • Workforce development within the emergency services around public health

Its position on RSPH’s website also facilitates links to wider public health resources of relevance to the emergency services.

I hope this resource will be useful. We will be reviewing the content on an ongoing basis so would love to hear your thoughts about anything we have missed or other work you would like to see included.”

Linda Hindle
PHE