Her Majesty’s Inspectorate of Constabulary and Fire and Rescue Services (HMICFRS) has today (20 June 2019) published its first inspection report for Nottinghamshire Fire and Rescue Service (NFRS). The report uses different criteria to assess performance against three themes – effectiveness, efficiency and people – using both qualitative and quantitative research. NFRS has been rated ‘good’ in two areas and the rest ‘Requires Improvement’.
This is the first time that HMICFRS has inspected fire and rescue services across England and NFRS is part of the second group of services receiving their reports today. The inspection has assessed how effectively and efficiently NFRS prevents, protects the public against and responds to fires and other emergencies. It has also assessed how well it looks after its staff.
The report has highlighted that NFRS has a good understanding of the risks in the Nottinghamshire area and that it works well with partner organisations. It has been rated ‘Good’ at protecting the public through fire regulation, taking legal action where necessary, and at responding to national risks. The inspection has also found that NFRS effectively promotes its values and culture and that staff are positive about the way the Service looks after their safety and wellbeing.
Areas for improvement include using its integrated risk management plan (IRMP) to ensure it keeps the public safe and secure from the risks identified; evaluating prevention work to understand the benefits better; to accelerate plans to improve ICT so that the Service makes best use of available technology to support operational effectiveness and efficiency; and to put appropriate mechanisms in place to enable closer monitoring of hours worked by staff.
NFRS Chief Fire Officer, John Buckley, said: "We have worked closely with HMICFRS throughout the inspection process and welcome the publication of our first report today.
"Whilst there is acknowledgement of what we do well, we will not be complacent about what we need to do to improve our performance, to ensure we continue to maintain public confidence in this Service.
"Even before the inspection process began we were already aware of these areas and have - and are - making significant steps towards improving our processes and procedures. Our new Strategic Plan launched in April, that replaces our old IRMP, outlines our commitment to the safety of those living and working in Nottinghamshire. This, together with individual departmental business plans from across the Service, will help to drive our continuous improvement agenda forward.
"We will continue to monitor progress and will regularly report back to the Fire Authority on what has been achieved."
Councillor Michael Payne, Chair of the Fire Authority said: “We have a high level of trust with our local communities and we will ensure this is maintained. We do know there will be some challenges ahead, however, we remain confident that the work being carried out now and in the future will increase our effectiveness and efficiency and focus on our staff, ultimately supporting our vision for creating safer communities across Nottinghamshire.”