Student placement initiative launched in Aberdeen

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The success of a similar partnership between SFRS, NHS and Robert Gordon University in Tayside has led to Aberdeen launch

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A partnership between Scottish Fire and Rescue Service (SFRS), NHS and Robert Gordon University (RGU) which will deliver community safety benefits to residents has launched in Aberdeen.

Last year RGU sent two Tayside students to work with NHS's mental health service and SFRS. The success of those placements has resulted in a decision to launch a similar scheme in the Granite City this year.

In Aberdeen, two new students have been working between the city's Central Fire Station and the Community Therapy Service based at Aberdeen's City Hospital.

During their time with the fire service, the students have attended Aberdeen Community Safety Partnership HUB meetings with the Community Action Team, linking up with partner organisations and also took part in Home Fire Safety Visits.

SFRS Station Manager Mike Cordiner said: "As part of their development, the students have been delivering a falls awareness package to the crews in all Aberdeen stations.

"It is the local intention that future Home Fire Safety Visits will pilot a basic screening questionnaire when a person appears unsteady on their feet or vulnerable to falls.

"The benefit of this intervention can then be a referral to the ‘Falls Team’ who can provide further advice and assistance."

The students have spent time learning about the Falls Pathway and worked in the Falls Clinic. They have also assessed and assisted patients in their own homes.

The skills the students have developed will benefit the fire service and raise awareness of the role of Occupational Therapy at NHS Grampian.

They can also highlight the importance of falls screening, assessment and the many different initiatives that are currently being developed in this area.

In addition it is hoped that Allied Health Professionals working in that branch of the NHS will develop a strong link with the Fire and Rescue Service, enabling referral of appropriate patients between the two areas and facilitating greater inter-agency collaboration.

Aberdeen Group Manager Fraser Burr added: "We are very privileged to be seen as an organisation that can assist in the further education of local RGU students. There is a natural overlap with some of the NHS occupational therapy patients and their vulnerability from fire and I see the student placements as being the perfect link for raising awareness and producing referrals for both parties."

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