Assurance Report Phase 2 of the Making Surrey Safer Transformation Strategy

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Issue and Scope

1. Surrey Fire and Rescue Service (SFRS) have asked Brunel University London to review and assure Phase 2 planning and implementation documents, in the context of COVID-19, the outcomes from the Grenfell Tower Inquiry and new legislation. The aim is to provide an objective, external view of the soundness of planning and to highlight any gaps or considerations. Since the implementation of Phase 2 changes includes Banstead, Egham and Painshill, this assurance report aims to inform whether the implementation of Phase 2 continues in its current form.

Statement of Assurance

2. We have reviewed the documents provided (listed in Annex A) and are satisfied that SFRS have considered the key issues for enabling the transition in Phase 2 of the implementation. We can assure the Phase 2 implementation process, subject to the recommendations and comments that follow in this report.

Recommendations

3. This review makes the following recommendations based upon our analysis of documents listed in Annex A and points of clarification sought from members of SFRS Senior Leadership Team (SLT):

a. Communication of the Phase 2 plan is too diffuse. SFRS need to bring together the actions outlined in the various documents in Annex A, to focus on Banstead, Egham and Painshill so that these actions can address concerns and issues raised by various stakeholders. Specifically, we identify the following areas for attention:

  • A detailed communications plan needs to be integrated into the Phase 2 implementation process.
  • SFRS should distill its plans for station day-crewing into a single document as part of Phase 2 implementation. Plan components are present, but diffused across too many documents.
  • SFRS should expand the plan of the On-Call Report to include measures of success, and clarify linkages to other components of the Phase 2 implementation process.

Timings

4. This document serves to provide a review of pertinent plans before the implementation of the Phase 2 plan from October 2020.

Discussion Phase 2

5. As we noted in our Phase 1 report, there are challenges to evidencing the outcomes of the Making Surrey Safer Plan (MSSP). MSSP is based on the prevention of fires (as well as regulatory protection activities) [footnote 1]: this means SFRS needs to measure something that hasn't happened to report positive outcomes. SFRS will therefore need to put in place proxy measures that demonstrate its Community Resilience strategy is working effectively, providing value for money and meeting stakeholders' expectations.

6. The existing Implementation Plan [footnote 2] provides an overview of actions for Phase 2. In support of this plan, SFRS should seek to consolidate, in an overarching text document, the aims of Phase 2, set milestones, review points and clear deliverables. The Phase 2 plan should set clear roles and responsibilities for each stage of the plan, providing annexes with sub-plans for departments. These integrated plans will provide better visibility and transparency of how components of Phase 2 interact to support the overall intent and delivery of MSSP.

7. SFRS have carried out extensive data analysis related to its stakeholders [footnote 3] - including the general public, vulnerable groups, businesses, safety on roads, waterways and open areas as well as anticipated demographic changes. The Service has also canvassed the views of staff, enabling dialogue and discussion through training and face-to-face meetings with SLT and line managers. We considered the staff feedback [footnote 4] and the FBU report [footnote 5] in detail and note that both raise concerns that suggest communications need to be incorporated into the plan. A detailed communications plan needs to be integrated into the Phase 2 implementation process.

8. SFRS has provided response modelling data which shows peak times during the day where there are incidents [footnote 6]. The data suggest the majority of incidents take place between 07:00 and 20:00, which supports the move to day-crewing at selected stations. Nonetheless, removing night shifts from Egham (Station 31), Painshill (Station 21), Banstead (Station 35) remains a contentious issue [footnote 7]. The data suggests that daycrewing is possible based upon existing resources across the county and works within current whole-time and On Call assets. Mandated response times can be met throughout a 24-hour day. SFRS should distill its plans for station day-crewing into a single document as part of Phase 2 implementation. Plan components are present, but diffused across too many documents.

9. The recruitment and training of Protection & Prevention officers seems to proceed according to plan and SFRS anticipate the planned increase in Safe & Well Visits will continue to roll-out in Phase 2. This is important as achieving improvements required by the Grenfell Tower reports, are likely to be actioned principally by SFRS staff in protection [footnote 8, 9] and prevention roles. A concise Phase 2 sub-plan on how SFRS will implement Grenfell recommendations would provide clarity on the plan, as well as milestones and measures of success. We observe that work continues to meet the requirements recommended by the Grenfell Tower Inquiry. Given the importance and sensitivity of this issue, SLT should continue to prioritise and incorporate actions into SFRS's day-to-day processes.

10. The "On Call Reports" [footnote 10, 11] are a reasonable expression of the plan for improved On Call firefighter deployment within SFRS, providing objectives, milestones and requirements. We interrogated the workings of on call firefighters and sought further clarification as to whether the changes to crewing of stations were contingent on the use of on-call firefighters. Oral representations from the SLT, as well as material from Phase 1, made clear that this is not the case. Response times for critical incidents are maintained at the mandated standard irrespective of the type of frontline appliance crew. In the documents we have seen, there are numerous references to On Call staff and their impact on SFRS's response times to emergencies. The wider contributions of On Call staff to overall service performance and targets should be articulated. SFRS should expand the plan of the On-Call Report to include measures of success and clarify linkages to other components of the Phase 2 implementation process.

Presentation

11. This paper has been written as a public document. Its contents are free to use by SFRS.

Professor Ashley Braganza, Brunel Business School

Dr Kristian Gustafson, Social and Political Science

Footnotes

[Footnote 1] 20200916_StatementOfAssurance_AL_FINAL

[Footnote 2] 20200914_Implementation_Project

[Footnote 3] 20200528_CRP2020_PR_V1.0

[Footnote 4] 20200820_EngagementFeedback_BB_V1.pptx

[Footnote 5] 20200916_FBUSurreyReportforBrunelUniversity_JW_V1.0.pdf

[Footnote 6] 20200724_ResponseModellingDataPresentation_CI_V1

[Footnote 7] 20200916_FBUSurreyReportforBrunelUniversity_JW_V1.0.pdf and 20200724_ResponseStdNewData_CI_V1

[Footnote 8] 20200701_GWGActionPlanJuly_SA_V1, "Grenfell Working Group Action Plan update from July 2020."

[Footnote 9] 20200818_GrenfellTowerOAStrategicGapAnalysis_SA_V1, "Grenfell Tower Fire – Strategic Gap Analysis

[Footnote 10] 20200916_OnCallReport_AL_FINAL

[Footnote 11] 20200916_SelectCommitteeReport_SK_FINAL

Annex A: Files Reviewed by Brunel University London as part of Phase 2

File nameDescription
0200528_CRP2020_PR_V1.0 Updated Community Risk Profile published in June 2020.
20200701_GWGActionPlanJuly_SA_V1 Grenfell Working Group Action Plan update from July 2020.
20200724_ResponseModellingDataPresentation_CI_V1 Response modelling date for time period 2015/16 to 2019/20.
20200724_ResponseStdNewData_CI_V1 New data against Response Standard up to 31/03/2020.
20200818_GrenfellTowerOAStrategicGapAnalysis_SA_V1 Grenfell Tower Fire – Strategic Gap Analysis. An Action Plan created by the
Operational Assurance (OA) Team, following receipt of Phase 1 report from Sir
Martin Moore-Bick November 2019.
20200820_EngagementFeedback_BB_V1 Surrey Fire and Rescue Service Engagement Feedback (Anonymised)
20200828_COVID19Analysis_PR_V1 Incident and response data during COVID 19.
20200901_SpecialistVehiclesFiveYearTrend_PR_V1 Trends in use of Specialist Vehicles over the last five years.
20200914_Implementation_Project-Plan_AW_V0.1 Project Implementation Plan & Timeline.
20200916_FBUSurreyReportforBrunelUniversity_JW_V.0 Surrey FBU: "Report following the implementation in April 2020 of Surrey County Council Fire Authority's Making Surrey Safer Plan 2020 – 2023".
20200916_OnCallReport_AL_FINAL Report from On-Call Project submitted for Communities, Highways and
Environment Select Committee that will be held on 16th September 2020.
20200916_SelectCommitteeReport_SK_FINAL Report on the Surrey Fire and Rescue Service (SFRS) Implementation of Making Surrey Safer – Our Plan 2020-2023 for Communities, Highways and
Environment Select Committee that will be held on 16th September 2020.
20200916_StatementOfAssurance_AL_FINAL SFRS Statement of Assurance 2019/20 submitted for Communities, Highways and Environment Select Committee that will be held on 16th September 2020.