Humberside 2021/22Read more about Humberside
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, HM Inspector of Fire and Rescue Services
HM Inspector's summary
It was a pleasure for the team to revisit Humberside 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 Humberside Fire and Rescue Service in keeping people safe and secure from fires and other risks. It created a service improvement plan using the areas for improvement highlighted in our 2018 inspection with the aim of improving the service it provides to the public. It was clear throughout our inspection that this has worked. The service continues to improve in many aspects of its work.
My principal findings from our assessment of the service over the past year are as follows:
The service is good at involving the local community in its work
In our last inspection we gave the service an area for improvement for how it involves the local community in building a comprehensive profile of risk in the service area. During our inspection we found that this had been done effectively, which had led to an extremely good local response to the latest integrated risk management plan. The service also has an effective protection plan that prioritises the highest risk commercial premises in its area.
The service has good financial management processes
The service continues to effectively manage in-year budgets and plans well for the future, highlighting and mitigating against any financial risks in an appropriate way. The service is working well with a range of other organisations to make sure that the service it gives the public is effective. It is also using extra staff capacity, generated through a change in workforce shift patterns, in an effective way.
The service is now much better at supporting its workforce
In our round one inspection, we found that the ‘people’ pillar required improvement. We were pleased to see that the service has made improvements in this area. Staff understand and are very complimentary about the new wellbeing services offered to them. In addition, the service has set up a training and development matrix for all staff and developed a new performance and development review process. Equality, diversity and inclusion are well understood throughout the service. But while it is encouraging that the service has set up staff feedback mechanisms, it needs to make sure that these are more trusted by the workforce.
Overall, I commend the service on the changes that it has made since our last inspection, and believe it is well placed to make further improvements. We will continue to assess the service’s progress through our usual monitoring arrangements.
How effective is the fire and rescue service at keeping people safe and secure?
Humberside Fire and Rescue Service’s overall effectiveness is good.
Humberside Fire and Rescue Service was good in its 2018/19 assessment.
The service is improving in many of the areas of effectiveness we inspected. The areas for improvement that we highlighted in our 2018 inspection have been satisfactorily addressed.
The service has identified and assessed a range of fire and rescue-related risks that could affect its communities. It has used a range of information and has consulted widely and well to produce a comprehensive integrated risk management plan (IRMP). The information in the plan allows the service to continually review its promise to the public and assess whether its resources are aligned to risk. The plan highlights the most important risks and links seamlessly with the service’s prevention, protection and response strategies.
Staff throughout the organisation can easily access the information they need to help prevent or mitigate risks to the public and themselves. Information on risks is regularly kept up to date when staff are carrying out audits, visits and inspections.
The service has used the findings and recommendations of the Grenfell Tower Inquiry to assess and mitigate the risk relating to high-rise buildings in its area. The necessary building risk review work has been carried out and all high-rise buildings have been audited. Where necessary, operational plans have been put in place to support the safety of the public and firefighters.
We were pleased to see that the service has improved the way it carries out fire protection work. With more skilled personnel and continuing investment in training operational staff, it is meeting its targets for its risk-based inspection programme.
The service has prioritised its resources in a way that enables it to respond to a wide range of incidents in its area. It trains its staff well in incident command. And it works closely with other fire services and local organisations in a way that supports giving the best possible response to any large scale or multi-agency incident, including when responding across its borders with other services.
How efficient is the fire and rescue service at keeping people safe and secure?
Humberside Fire and Rescue Service’s overall efficiency is good.
Humberside Fire and Rescue Service was good in its 2018/19 assessment.
Since our last inspection we have found that the service continues to manage its finances well and is improving its overall efficiency.
It is encouraging to see that productivity at the service’s fire stations has improved since the last inspection. Staff are using the tools they have been given to make sure that their days are productive and focused on the service’s priorities.
The service has a well-established collaborative approach. It is a leader in this regard, with many departments integrated with police colleagues and other partners, both regionally and nationally. These partnerships are effectively monitored through robust governance arrangements. But the service should make sure that its collaborative work is efficient as well as effective.
The service analyses risk well, and this is apparent in its medium-term financial planning. This highlights key risks, and makes assumptions about these to make sure the service makes sound decisions about future funding.
How well does the fire and rescue service look after its people?
Humberside Fire and Rescue Service is good at looking after its people.
Humberside Fire and Rescue Service required improvement in its 2018/19 assessment.
The service has improved in managing its people since our last inspection, with policies and procedures in place that cover all relevant areas.
The service has a positive working culture. Its values are understood and reflected in the behaviour of most staff, although we were told that this is not the case for some senior managers. The service has developed excellent wellbeing services, and staff are broadly positive about this. Staff have access to support for their physical and mental health through the occupational health department.
Since our last inspection, the service has improved its workforce planning. The skills matrix that is now in place makes sure that all staff are aware of the most important competencies that they should have for their role, and what they will need if they progress to more senior roles. The service has a positive view of learning and development, which is noticeable throughout the organisation. It has put a great deal of effort into developing its competency recording system. And we were pleased to see that the service wants to take this further to make sure that it is effective for everyone.
The service has done an exceptional amount of work to engage with its staff. But it needs to do more to develop trust across the organisation, so that staff feel more confident challenging and giving feedback to management. And the service needs to show how it is acting on the feedback and challenge it receives from its workforce.
We found that the service was actively promoting issues relating to equality, diversity and inclusion (EDI). And the workforce supports this approach, which will lead to benefits in the long term. The positive action being carried out across the service is noteworthy.
The service has created a new performance development review system, which includes consideration of staff wellbeing. There has been excellent take up of this. But some staff feel that it is a tick-box exercise and see little benefit in completing the reviews.