Chief investigator:

Professor Carolyn Chew-Graham, Dr Tom Kingstone (co-leading)


Prof Saeed Farooq, Dr Nadia Corp (Keele University), Prof Paul Kingston (University of Chester), Prof Gary Spolander (Robert Gordon University), Mark Walchester (Staffordshire Fire and Rescue Service)

Funder name and reference:

National Institute for Health Research (NIHR), Research for Patient Benefit (RfPB) ref: 201967

Year 2021-2022


Many older adults (people 60 years or more) with symptoms of a common mental health problem (depression, anxiety) will delay seeking help from healthcare services. Wider public services not traditionally involved in health (e.g. police or fire and rescue) could provide crucial support to this population through their existing community roles. Interventions delivered by these services for other aspects of health (e.g. falls prevention) have shown good evidence. Interventions that target common mental health problems remain under-researched.


A multi-method qualitative study.
Observations of current “Safe & Well” programme, including home visits with older adults. Interviews and focus groups with key stakeholders (older adults, fire and rescue service workforce, health and social care providers and commissioners) to understand acceptability of utilising “Safe & Well” visits to detect and sign-post for mental health problems among older adults. Mixed stakeholder workshops.


To explore the current delivery model and content of Safe & Well visits in Staffordshire and examine broad-level acceptability of plans to extend visits to include mental health checks and sign-posting. To develop, through consensus with stakeholders, resources to support delivery of the new intervention.


Can the fire and rescue service work with primary care to improve identification of mental health problems in older adults?