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Lancashire 2021/22

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This is HMICFRS’s second full assessment of fire and rescue services. This assessment examines the service’s effectiveness, efficiency and how well it looks after its people. It is designed to give the public information about how their local fire and rescue service is performing in several important areas, in a way that is comparable with other services across England.

The extent to which the service is effective at keeping people safe and secure from fire and other risks is good.

The extent to which the service is efficient at keeping people safe and secure from fire and other risks is good.

The extent to which the service looks after its people is good.

Matt Parr

Matt Parr, Her Majesty’s Inspector of Fire and Rescue Services

HMI summary

It was a pleasure to revisit Lancashire Fire and Rescue Service, and I am grateful for the positive and constructive way that the service engaged with our inspection.

I congratulate Lancashire Fire and Rescue Service on its excellent performance in keeping people safe and secure from fires and other risks.

We were pleased to see that the service has made progress since our 2018 inspection.

These are the findings I consider most important from our assessments of the service over the past year.

  • The service has improved consultation with the public and internal and external interested parties about its community risk management plan (also known as an integrated risk management plan).
  • The service has made some progress in making sure it allocates enough resources to its prioritised, risk-based inspection programme. However, it is too early to see how effective the programme will be. I look forward to seeing how this develops when the new team structure is fully in place.
  • Overall, the service has developed a good understanding of its future financial challenges. It has also identified savings and investment opportunities to improve its service to the public.
  • Since our last inspection, the service has developed a talent management process. Staff are starting to realise the benefits of this.

The service has made good progress in most areas since our last inspection. We look forward to seeing the results of further improvements at our next inspection.

Effectiveness

How effective is the fire and rescue service at keeping people safe and secure?

Last updated 27/07/2022
Good

Lancashire Fire and Rescue Service’s overall effectiveness is good.

Lancashire Fire and Rescue Service was good in its 2018/19 assessment.

We are pleased with the progress that Lancashire Fire and Rescue Service has made in effectiveness.

Since our first visit in 2018, the service has improved the way it consults internal and external interested parties and the public on its community risk management plan (CRMP), formerly known as an integrated risk management plan.

We were pleased to find that the service had agreed a new unwanted fire signal policy with the fire authority since our last inspection, but at the time of this inspection it hadn’t been implemented. We look forward to seeing the effect this has on false alarms.

The service has also made some progress in making sure it allocates enough resources to a prioritised, risk-based inspection programme. However, at the time of this inspection, it hadn’t yet recruited staff for all of the roles, so it was too early to see how effective this structure will be.

View the five questions for effectiveness

Efficiency

How efficient is the fire and rescue service at keeping people safe and secure?

Last updated 27/07/2022
Good

Lancashire Fire and Rescue Service’s overall efficiency is good.

Lancashire Fire and Rescue Service was good in its 2018/19 assessment.

Since our last inspection, the service has focused on increasing the number of staff in its most important areas of work, to improve performance. It has also introduced more efficient ways of working.

The service has arrangements for managing performance and productivity. It has clear performance indicators and targets that link to the CRMP. These show how it is making the best use of its resources and achieving its priorities.

The service is doing more work with other emergency services and aims to save money through this approach. Since our last inspection, its oversight of this collaborative work has improved, but it needs to make sure it evaluates how effective and efficient it is.

The service has created a new digitalisation team, with the aim of improving efficiency and increasing its use of data to inform decisions. The team will also help it to comply with national requirements such as General Data Protection Regulation.

Although the service had continuity plans in place, our inspection highlighted that they needed reviewing, and that regular testing wasn’t being carried out. The service was aware of this, and was in the process of increasing resources in this area.

View the two questions for efficiency

People

How well does the fire and rescue service look after its people?

Last updated 27/07/2022
Good

Lancashire Fire and Rescue Service is good at looking after its people.

Lancashire Fire and Rescue Service was good in its 2018/19 assessment.

We are pleased to see the service has continued to work on creating a culture that is line with its values and aligned to the UK national code of ethics for fire and rescue services. Throughout this inspection we were told by staff again and again that they were proud to work for Lancashire Fire and Rescue Service.

The service continues to make sure that recruitment processes are improving its workforce’s diversity by taking positive action. It has increased the diversity of its assessment panels so that they better represent the people the service is trying to attract.

Our inspection found that there was a significant range of wellbeing support available to support staff’s physical and mental health, and that staff were aware of how to access this support. The service continuously monitors and adapts this support to make sure it is meeting the needs of staff.

We were pleased to see that since our last inspection the service had made some progress in the way it supports the development of leadership and high-potential staff. It has a new talent management plan, with progression pathways and an appraisal process to identify talent.

 

View the four questions for people

Key facts – 2020/2021

Service Area

1,184 square miles

Population

1.52m people
up3% local 5 yr change

Workforce

70% wholetime firefighters
30% on-call firefighters
0.59 per 1000 population local
0.56 national level
up1% local 5 yr change
down5% national 5 yr change

Assets

39 stations
58 fire engines

Incidents

3.4 fire incidents per 1000 population local
2.7 national
2.7 non-fire incidents per 1000 population local
2.7 national
5.4 fire false alarms per 1000 population local
3.8 national

Cost

£25.62 firefighter cost per person per year
£25.22 firefighter cost per person per year (national)

Judgment criteria

English Cymraeg