100 Merseyside Fire and Rescue Service staff had their blood pressure checked yesterday (15th January) to support the launch of an initiative that includes blood pressure checks as part of the 'Safe and Well' visits carried out in the community.

The inclusion of free blood pressure checks into the 'Safe and Well' visits is a result of a partnership with Champs Public Health Collaborative and The British Heart Foundation (BHF).

Phil Byrne  Station Manager for Community Risk Management with Merseyside Fire and Rescue Service (pictured below having his blood pressure taken by a trained colleague) said: “It is fantastic that we are now able to include the offer of a blood pressure check as part of our safe & well visits.  Fire & Rescue staff have the unique ability to access homes and engage with vulnerable members of the community that other agencies may not.  This places us in a strong positon to support our mission of making our communities safer and stronger, at the same time as supporting the wider health needs of residents.

“Merseyside Fire and Rescue Service advocates have been specially trained to deliver the checks and working with our health partners we are able to refer those with high blood pressure to receive the correct help and support.  In addition we will be providing advice on how to maintain a healthy Blood Pressure. The safe & well programme aims to engage with 10,000 homes in the first year.”

Dr Muna Abdel Aziz, Director of Public Health (DPH) for Warrington, and the Cheshire & Merseyside DPH Lead for Blood Pressure said: “We are delighted to have our Fire and Rescue colleagues on board to include blood pressure checks in the Safe and Well Checks. As a trusted and respected public service organisation, the Fire and Rescue service will help us reach people who might otherwise have slipped the net. Our collaborative work on blood pressure in Cheshire & Merseyside is exemplary as a whole system partnership; and the addition of these services with Merseyside Fire and Rescue will enhance our achievements and improve the health and wellbeing of our communities.”

This work will support the implementation of the C&M five year cross sector strategy "Saving Lives: Reducing the Pressure".