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Nottinghamshire 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.

Roy Wilsher

Roy Wilsher, Her Majesty’s Inspector of Fire and Rescue Services

HMI summary

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

I am pleased with the performance of the service in keeping people safe and secure from fires and other risks. For example, risk information is updated promptly and accurately to make sure that the latest information is available to operational crews.

The service has clearly used the last report appropriately and worked hard on the areas for improvement. We found it had improved in almost all areas since the round one inspection.

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

The service has a well-resourced prevention department that carries out a mix of referral and data-led visits to target those most at risk from fire. It then uses an evaluated method to understand the level of risk to the individual. Other organisations the service works with have been trained to use this method to ensure a consistent approach. This cohesive approach has resulted in many more people being reached compared with our first inspection.

In round one of our inspections, we gave the service an area for improvement to introduce a robust performance management framework. During this inspection, we found that the service had put one in place. This was evident across almost all areas of the service. The framework provides several levels for reporting, and ensures oversight is maintained and activities that are missing targets can be recorded and addressed before a problem arises.

We found the service had put processes in place to ensure that firefighters always have up-to-date risk information for Nottinghamshire, which it shares with neighbouring fire and rescue services when needed. The inspection team still have problems with using some of the mobile data terminals to access the information, but we recognise the service has a plan in place to address this.

Another round one area for improvement was to develop a wellbeing strategy. We were pleased to see this had been done, and that the service had this and other wellbeing provisions in place. During our inspection, we found that staff weren’t always aware of these. So the service should ensure that all staff understand the wellbeing provisions available to them.

Overall, I commend Nottinghamshire Fire and Rescue Service on the clear improvements it has made since our last inspection. And I encourage the service to keep the momentum going with the positive changes it has made so far.

Effectiveness

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

Last updated 27/07/2022
Good

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

Nottinghamshire Fire and Rescue Service required improvement in its 2018/19 assessment.

We are pleased with the progress that Nottinghamshire Fire and Rescue Service has made in terms of its effectiveness.

Although its current integrated risk management plan (IRMP) is limited in how it drives the activities that the service should carry out, we were pleased to see at the time of our inspection that the service was working to develop the new community risk management plan (CRMP) published in April. The CRMP clearly sets out how the service will carry out prevention, protection and response activities to make Nottinghamshire safer.

The service displays good levels of partnership working, especially around prevention and ensuring a common approach. This means that those most at risk from fire can be identified and given further support.

The service has revised its risk-based inspection programme to target the highest-risk buildings. This has been revised using data rather than assumption, to form a more accurate understanding.

In our round one inspection we gave the service an area for improvement to monitor incident commanders and provide feedback following an incident. We found that the service now had a process to record operational learning and share this throughout the organisation.

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

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

Nottinghamshire Fire and Rescue Service required improvement in its 2018/19 assessment.

Since our round one inspection, we have seen Nottinghamshire Fire and Rescue Service use its budget and resources more efficiently.

The change of shift pattern at two stations and the control room merger with Derbyshire Fire and Rescue Service has helped Nottinghamshire Fire and Rescue Service to make savings without affecting the service it provides to the public.

The service has shown repeated examples of its willingness to collaborate. The control room merger is one example, and another is the move to joint headquarters with Nottinghamshire Police. The service shares other buildings with Nottinghamshire Police and the East Midlands Ambulance Service.

Since our last inspection, the service has better managed its reserve fund and has created a transformation fund, which has allowed for modernisation in areas such as digital technology, collaboration and performance management.

The service should evaluate these partnerships to fully understand the benefits to itself and the public.

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

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

Nottinghamshire Fire and Rescue Service required improvement in its 2018/19 assessment.

We were pleased to find that the service’s values and behaviours were understood and demonstrated by staff at all levels. During the inspection, we were told the senior leaders modelled the service values. We also found the service was working to implement the core code of ethics.

We found the service had a robust workforce plan, which included training needs and leaver profiles. By working to this, the service can assure itself it maintains oversight of skills gaps and potential staffing shortfalls.

The service recruitment processes were found to be open and fair, with a diverse selection panel to support individuals applying, and for the workforce to be representative of the demographic of Nottinghamshire. The service has also implemented staff network groups to support those already in post.

All staff we spoke to during the inspection process had a conversation or performance review with their line manager at least once a year. We also found the service had provided learning to help staff understand how their individual objectives link to service objectives.

Overall, we were pleased to see the service improving in all areas of people.

View the four questions for people

Key facts – 2020/2021

Service Area

834 square miles

Population

1.17m people
up4% local 5 yr change

Workforce

75% wholetime firefighters
25% on-call firefighters
0.47 per 1000 population local
0.56 national level
down11% local 5 yr change
down5% national 5 yr change

Assets

24 stations
29 fire engines

Incidents

2.5 fire incidents per 1000 population local
2.7 national
2.0 non-fire incidents per 1000 population local
2.7 national
3.2 fire false alarms per 1000 population local
3.8 national

Cost

£22.72 firefighter cost per person per year
£25.22 firefighter cost per person per year (national)

Judgment criteria

English Cymraeg