Gloucestershire Fire and Rescue Service must continue to improve
Gloucestershire Fire and Rescue Service has improved the way it looks after its people, but there is more to be done, the fire and rescue inspectorate has said.
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In July last year, His Majesty’s Chief Inspector of Constabulary and Fire & Rescue Services (HMICFRS) moved the service into an enhanced monitoring process, known as Engage, due to its lack of progress on values, culture and diversity.
HMICFRS revisited Gloucestershire Fire and Rescue Service in November to review its progress. The inspectorate found signs that the service’s workplace culture is slowly starting to improve, and there is a growing understanding of the importance of equality, diversity and inclusion.
However, the inspectorate said it was important the service continued to build on this momentum. It will remain in Engage while HMICFRS monitors its progress.
His Majesty’s Inspector of Fire and Rescue Services Wendy Williams said:
“I was pleased to see signs of progress when we revisited Gloucestershire Fire and Rescue Service. We saw that the service is prioritising work on improving its culture, increasing the visibility and approachability of its leaders, managing staff workloads and ensuring there is clear access to wellbeing support.
“The service is also working hard to integrate the importance of equality, diversity and inclusion, including making amendments to its recruitment and promotion processes.
“Most staff are starting to see small but positive changes. However, some groups continue to have little trust in the service’s commitment to improve. They feel isolated and don’t believe positive changes will happen. The service should consider what it can do to build trust and confidence with these groups.
“Gloucestershire Fire and Rescue Service now needs to continue to build on this momentum and grow these changes from small steps to significant initiatives. I look forward to working with the service to monitor its progress.”
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- Read more information about the HMICFRS monitoring process.
- Gloucestershire was moved into Engage because it had not done enough since its last inspection to:
- embed its values and associated behaviours and promote a positive workplace culture; and
- improve levels of understanding and awareness of the importance of equality, diversity and inclusion (EDI) and remove barriers to embedding EDI in the service.
- The first point relates to a cause of concern first issued to the service in 2019. The second was a new cause of concern detailed in the service’s most recent inspection, published in July 2022.
- For further information, the HMICFRS Press Office can be contacted at 0300 071 6781 or HMICPressOffice@hmicfrs.gov.uk.