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Fire and Rescue Service Headquarters, Pirehill Please ask for Kay Johnson DDI (01785) 898670 SCRUTINY AND PERFORMANCE COMMITTEE Tuesday 12 July 2011 2.15 pm Fire and Rescue Service Headquarters, Pirehill A Chair and Vice-Chair’s Preview (for Mr W D Day and Mr G Morrison) has been arranged for 1.45 pm) Howard Norris Secretary to the Authority 1 July 2011 __________________________________________________________________________ AGENDA 1. Apologies 2. Declarations of Interest 3. Membership of the Committee (for information) Day, W D (Chairman) Lawson, I S Morrison, G (Vice Chairman) Oates, J *Bayliss Mrs E J Wazir, M A* *Dutton A E Wells, J Easton R 4. Minutes of the meeting held on 18 May 2011 5. Terms of Reference (for information) (to be reviewed by the Terms of Reference Working Group) 6. Sickness Absence Performance Report and presentation by Mrs J Doran, Director of People 7. Items for Future Meetings To be reviewed by Members September 2011 Review of the Communications Strategy Family Group 4 2010/11 Year End Benchmark Report Future Items date not Previous Working Group updates yet specified Benchmarking update report following further Developments (CFOA benchmarking) Explanatory paper – Links between performance measures and processes and why we have moved over to Statistical Process Control recording 8. Date of Next Meeting – The next meeting of this Committee will be held on Thursday 1 September 2011 at 2.15 pm 9. Exclusion of the Public The Chairman to move:- “That the public be excluded from the meeting for the following items of business which involve the likely disclosure of exempt information as defined in the paragraphs of Part I of Schedule 12A of the Local Government Act 1972 indicated below”. _____________________________________________________________ PART TWO 10. Occupational Health – 1 year contract with Staffordshire Police Update (exemption paragraph 3) Oral update of the Mrs J Doran, Director of People 11. Fire Control Options Appraisal Project (exemption paragraph 3) Report of the Chief Fire Officer/Chief Executive Item No 4 on Agenda MINUTES OF THE SCRUTINY AND PERFORMANCE COMMITTEE HELD ON 18 MAY 2011 Present: Mr. W. Day (Vice Chairman in the Chair) Easton, R. Wells, J. Lawson, I. Also in Attendance: Mr H Norris, Secretary to the Authority, Mr D Greensmith, Head of the Assets and Resources Directorate, Mr I Sloss, Head of Risk Reduction, Mr S Redfearn, Strategic Risk Manger, Mr M Adams, Head of ICT, and Mr M Thompson, Project Manager, Performance and Planning. Apology: Morrison, G. PART ONE Documents referred to in these minutes as schedules are not appended but will be attached to the signed copy of the minutes. Copies, or specific information in them, may be available on request. Membership of the Committee 77. The number of Members of the Committee was depleted due to the fact that neither Mr Kent-Baguley or Mr Najmi had been re-elected to Stoke-on-Trent City Council and Mr Francis had not been re-nominated to serve on the Authority, by Staffordshire County Council. Mr Day was therefore in the Chair. Minutes 78. Members discussed the future of fire control and were advised that a Working Group of officers had been set up to look at this matter. Mr Bloomer and Mr Jones were also on the Working Group. Recommendations arising from the Working Group would be put to the Authority in due course. In response to a question Members were advised that the report may come to the Scrutiny and Performance Committee for their comments should the timescale allow. 79. RESOLVED – That the minutes of the Scrutiny and Performance Committee held on 4 February 2011 be confirmed and signed by the Chairman. Quarter 4 Performance (Schedule 1) 80. The report outlined Service performance for Quarter 4 of year 2010/11. The table appended to the paper reported strategic performance information. The reports showed performance on a range of indicators in Statistical Process Control (SCP) chart format. Supplementary data was provided where appropriate to provide context for some of the indicators. Most of the indicators were within control limits, with many showing performance which was below the mean for the year during recent months. Members attention was focused on those areas where performance broke through either of the control limits, showed a high degree of variability or was significantly moving toward either control limit. Page 1 of 7 There had been a vast improvement in Data Quality over the previous two years from 88% to 99.4%. The improvement would be covered in the next Item on the Agenda. Members were pleased with this improvement. Deaths and injuries in accidental dwelling fires had fallen over the last Quarter. Performance had improved over the three year trend. There had been a rise during November and December 2010 over the cold weather. Members were advised that historically bad weather had been associated with the rise in fire deaths and this was the same throughout the country. The Service was doing exceptional work to reduce these fire deaths and injuries by working with partners. Some deaths had been attributed to trips and falls. The deliberate grass fire trend over three years was up due to the spell of very dry weather at the start of 2010. In April 2010 grass fires were up by 25%. A lot of work was carried out in schools educating pupils on the dangers of grass fires. The Service had also run radio and press campaigns. They had also done a joint press release with the Police on the consequences of being caught. Members commented upon the positive impact of the work undertaken with school age children. The trend for UwFS was down over the year and the previous three years. Members discussed the reduction in RTCs attended by the Service, which was good news. Retained availability was up compared to the previous year. Attacks on firefighters had reduced significantly which was felt partly due to the presence of CCTV cameras and partly to do with the work undertaken by firefighters in the community and in schools. Making the public aware of the consequences of an attack was also a deterrent. Members discussed the payment of invoices of which 96% had been paid within 30 days. It was helpful to businesses to receive prompt payment in these difficult economic times. In response to a question Members were advised that the Service did not, as part of contract agreements, ask for discounts for prompt payments. Members were assured that the Service already obtained the lowest price available through detailed procurement processes. Over the year there had been a lower absence rate overall compared to 2009/10. The reduced sickness absence was attributable to more consistent absence monitoring and closer management, particularly in relation to return to work interviews, contact monitoring and case reviews. Retained figures were not included in the figures. The Service was doing well compared to other local authorities and public sector bodies. Members commented upon the new format for reporting which was easy to follow. 81. RESOLVED – That the contents of the report be noted. Page 2 of 7 Data Quality (Schedule 2) 82. The report reviewed the current status of year end data quality within the organisation. Provision of good quality information was necessary to ensure that all statutory legal obligations were met. In order to understand and manage risk effectively, it was necessary to ensure that data is of good quality. Data confidence had increased this year from 99.1% to 99.4% for the Service as a whole. The improvements made over the last two years had been significant, as the Service commenced 2009 achieving data quality at a rate of only 83.1%. The implementation of the Activity Assistant Incident Recording System (October 2010) had reduced the amount of information returned which contained errors, due to the improved automated validation routines which this system contained. A small number of overdue records were the most significant issue faced by the organisation in relation to data quality at the end of 2010/11. Of the 141 records in error at the end of the year, two thirds were overdue with the remaining problems due to classification errors. The sustained achievement of good levels of data quality had enabled the Service to make use of new performance monitoring techniques, such as Statistical Process Control charts, which were proving successful in supporting the systems thinking approach to delivering performance improvement. It also meant that the Service would be able to make better use of live information, which would be delivered to Area Command staff through developments in reporting and systems later in 2011. 83. RESOLVED – That the current Data Quality standards be noted. Unwanted Fire Signals Policy (Schedule 3) 84. The report presented the Unwanted Fire Signals (UwFS) Policy that was introduced into the Service from 1 May 2011. The total UwFS for the year 2009-2010 was 2,917, 2010-2011 was 2579, a 337 reduction in Unwanted Fire Signals attended by the Service. This equated to a total reduction of 880 from 2008 to 2009. The Chief Fire Officers Association (CFOA) had published a revised guidance document on UwFS in September 2010. The policy, attached as an Appendix to the report, had incorporated the changes in the CFOA guidance along with changes to its own procedures where appropriate to reduce the number of unwanted fire signals attended by the Service. This change in Policy was anticipated to mean a further reduction of over 2,000 appliance mobilisations a year. This Policy had gone through formal consultation which closed on 4 April 2011 and was introduced on 1 May 2011. The introduction of this revised policy would reduce both the number of calls attended and the number of appliance mobilisations with subsequent savings from reduced Retained turnouts and attendance payments, over the border responses, and wear and tear on appliances, fuel, etc. Page 3 of 7 It was not anticipated that there would be any adverse legal implications as a response would be made to all calls that confirmed that a fire was in progress. Similar policies had been adopted by other fire and rescue services (FRS). The responsibility for effective management and maintenance of alarm systems and fire safety procedures within premises rested with the responsible person for the premises, not with the FRS. The risks associated with non-attendance needed to be weighed against the risks to fire fighters and other road users of appliances attending on blue lights, disruption of training and risk reduction activities, etc. Mr Sloss gave a presentation to Members. As outlined in the report UwFS were a drain on the resources of the Service. 98% of UwFS required no action and only 2% required any sort of intervention. Some of the false alarms calls were to things such a burnt toast etc. These could have been investigated by the responsible person at the premises to confirm that a turn out was not necessary. Premises had a responsibility to maintain and check their fire alarms systems. Continuous false alarms also had a detrimental effect on businesses. The majority of UwFS happened during the day when premises were occupied. The presentation outlined the effect and impact of attending calls to UwFs and the aims of the policy. The main aims of the policy were to reduce the dangers to firefighters and the public from unnecessary responses, to reduce carbon emissions and wear and tear on vehicles. A full pre determined attendance would be maintained to all calls received informing the Service that there was a fire. Calls from an Alarm Receiving Centre would receive a standard response on one pumping appliance, unless they confirm that a fire is in progress. Fire control will call challenge and if the caller confirmed that there was no fire then we would not attend. Callers would be asked to investigate and call 999 if there is a fire and if an investigation was not feasible then they would mobilise one pump. Attendance at an UwFS would be followed up by an Area Command/Fire Safety visit who would get the premises to understand their responsibility under the fire safety order. Mr Sloss advised that they would be monitoring the policy on a monthly basis. Meetings were being held with key stakeholders. Appliances would still be turned out to domestic properties and sheltered accommodation. The cost of turning out an appliance was approximately £240. Detailed cost of turnouts had been looked into and varied dependent on whether wholetime or retained fire fighters, on turn out and attendance rates, were called out. Mr Day referred to the very successful Fire motor cycle in Merseyside which carried 40ltrs of water, compressed air and 25 metres of hose and commented that it would only cost about one tenth of an appliance turn out. The cost of these bikes was £30,000 and this was something the Service could look at for the future. In response to a question Members were advised that the legislation was already in place and all that was needed was further education for businesses. The Regulatory Reform Act and the Fire Safety Regulations made it clear what the obligations were for businesses. Members wondered whether there was a need for a tightening of the legislation and were advised that the legislation was sufficient but businesses needed to take on the responsibilities contained in the legislation. Page 4 of 7 The Service had a clear obligation to attend a fire not an alarm. A media campaign had been launched for the business community to make them aware of their obligations. The fire safety officers would work with businesses to ensure that they were aware of their requirements but ultimately the responsibility lay with the businesses themselves. 85. RESOLVED – That the report be noted. Protective Security Strategy (Schedule 4) 86. Fire & Rescue Services (FRS) in the UK are faced with the challenge from Her Majesty’s Government of meeting new standards and expectations for a Protective Security Strategy (PSS) 1 as part of the UK Counter Terrorism Strategy (CONTEST). A protective security review undertaken by the Centre for the Protection of the National Infrastructure (CPNI) of the Emergency Services Sector (ESS) had been a major contributor to demands for early action by the UK FRS. The PROTECT component of CONTEST aims to reduce vulnerabilities to people, premises and information in key public services. The establishment of the PSS as a response to this had been ratified by the Chief Fire Officers Association (CFOA) Operations Committee. The PSS implementation programme comprised 7 policies & 70 mandatory requirements and identified three workstreams to be addressed: (a) Personnel Security (Vetting – Identity Management of individuals and contracting organisations, Right to Work/Trade, National Security Vetting Clearance); there is a need to manage the risk of anyone exploiting their legitimate access for unauthorised purposes. (b) Premise Security (reduce the risk of unauthorised access to premises, vehicles, equipment and clothing); and (c) Information Security (usually measured by Confidentiality, Integrity and availability of electronic and paper records and underlying Information Communications Technology (ICT) infrastructures). Underlying ICT infrastructures include radio, voice and data communications, mobilisation systems, risk data systems and HR/Finance systems). The Centre for the Protection of the National Infrastructure (CPNI) had sponsored a number of risk assessments and, as a consequence, the Service had engaged with Mentis Management Consultants and other Fire and Rescue Service organisations in a Collaborative Syndicate to deal with this challenge. Two security consultants from Mentis visited Staffordshire Fire and Rescue Service Headquarters on 12 October 2010 to: (a) Discuss security culture, threats, risks and controls with a range of officers and staff; (b) Tour Headquarters, Fire Control and ICT facilities; and (c) Examine key security policy and procedure documents brought to their attention. There was a mandatory requirement to implement the Strategy. The Chief Fire Officers Association (CFOA) had set up 3 workstreams (under a Protective Security Working Group) to issue best practice national guidance notes on each of the above 3 areas, which had not yet been received. Page 5 of 7 Mentis had submitted a number of recommendations. Positive feedback was given in respect of: - 1. Fairly sound Personnel Security 2. Generally appropriate Physical Security 3. Thoughtful & generally appropriate Business Continuity Planning 4. Thoughtful & pragmatic implementation of ICT Security. To summarise the main recommendations for potential improvement: - a. Limited evidence of risk assessments in relation to the vetting of personnel in senior posts. b. The need for more detailed verification of identities & antecedents (one’s ancestors) of non-uniformed personnel and retained firefighters. c. The need to comply with a number of HMG Infosec Standards e.g. in relation to Information Security (ISO 27001). d. The need for Business Impact Assessments & Privacy Impact Assessments (personally identifiable information). e. Additional security in respect of shared information with external partners/commercial suppliers. f. Ownership of a Protective Security Strategy within SF&RS, with specified responsibilities. g. Increased security awareness at all levels. Ahead of the CFOA Guidelines, recommendations were submitted to and accepted by the Service’s Organisational Assurance Group (OAG) that we adopt a pro-active approach by setting up a Protective Security Governance Group, comprising Head of Performance and Improvement, Head of Human Resource, Head of ICT & the Property/Premises Manager, together with the Strategic Risk Manager and also undertaking a GAP analysis in respect of (a) Personnel & Premises Security – against guidelines to be provided and (b) Information Security – against ISO27001. This would provide a good estimate of what additional work would need to be undertaken and allow the Service to assess some realistic costs involved and timescales over the next 12 to 24 months. Local authorities had been given funding to implement a PSS but not fire and rescue services. The Service was looking at ways of enhancing security over the next few years. For example by anti virus, securing networks, limited access to files. Both internal and external monitoring would be undertaken. Security was being tightened up leading to the Olympics in 2012. Members discussed the involvement of Authority Members in the Group and this would be looked into. 87. RESOLVED - That the report be noted. Items for Future meetings 88. Members discussed the following Item which had been put on the Scrutiny and Performance Committees programme some time ago:- Page 6 of 7 “Staff Wellbeing Strategy – Further Progress Report – Internal Audit Report on the Occupational Health, Fitness and Welfare Facility Occupational Health Unit Vehicle Update.” They were advised that as matters had moved on in respect of Occupational Health and the Service had entered into a 1 year contract with Staffordshire Police to carry out the Occupational Health Services for the Service it might be more appropriate for Members to be given an update on the progress of the service provided under the contract at the appropriate time. 89. RESOLVED – That the following items be brought to a future meeting of the Scrutiny and Performance Committee. July 2011 Occupational Health Update – 1 year contract with Staffordshire Police Update Sickness Absence performance (Judith Doran) Future Items date not Previous Working Group updates yet specified Benchmarking update report following further Developments (CFOA benchmarking) Explanatory paper – Links between performance measures and processes and why we have moved over to Statistical Process Control recording Date of next meeting 90. Date of Next Meeting – The next meeting of the Committee was scheduled to be held on Tuesday 12 July 2011 at 2.15 pm CHAIRMAN Page 7 of 7 Item No. 5 on Agenda 2009 Changes to the Terms of Reference Stoke-on-Trent and Staffordshire Fire and Rescue Authority Scrutiny and Performance Committee Constitution The Committee consists of 9 members with a quorum of 3. Terms of Reference Scrutiny • To undertake policy reviews with a view to improving the Authority’s performance. • To check whether priorities are being met. • To examine services provided and make recommendations as to how service improvements can be put in place. • To appoint ad hoc task and finish groups as necessary. • To consider for Scrutiny items referred by other Committees. • To scrutinise the performance of the Service in relation to its contribution to Stoke and Staffordshire’s LAAs. Performance • To monitor aspects of service performance. • To develop local performance standards and targets Delegation To set local standards and performance targets. To select areas for investigation on its own initiative (as well as undertaking tasks allocated to it by the Authority or other Committees). Receive minutes from: The new Authority Improvement Panel Reporting to: Minutes go to the Strategy and Resources Committee Frequency of Meetings The committee will meet six eight times each year. (New Committee separated from the Audit function - established by the Fire Authority on 3 June 2005 and amended in May 2008). Item No. 6 on Agenda SCRUTINY AND PERFORMANCE COMMITTEE 12 July 2011 Sickness Absence Performance Report of the Director of People SUMMARY The Human Resources (HR) department has undertaken an analysis of the Service’s sickness absence data for the financial year 2010/11. The analysis shows a downward trend for absence with some seasonal peaks, namely July and December. There is a reduction in the number of people on long term sickness absence which can be explained in part due to the closer management of sickness absence by HR working closely with line managers and Occupational Health to identify long term sickness at an early stage and putting in place ongoing support. RECOMMENDATIONS For discussion and report Financial Implications Improvement in sickness absence will lead to financial savings. It is essential that sickness absence continues to be monitored with the objective of achieving further improvements. Legal Implications n/a Equality and Diversity Further analysis will need to be undertaken in relation to the statistical data and protected characteristics. Risk Implications n/a Consultation and Engagement undertaken n/a This Report is for: Information Report Author: - Judith Doran Telephone: - 01785 898633 or 07971 893254 Email: - email@example.com Sickness Absence Data – 12 month analysis 1. Percentage Sickness Absence The HR department has undertaken an analysis of the sickness absence data for a 12 month period 2010/11. The following graph details the percentage sickness absence level for the year April 2010 to March 2011 and compares it with the previous year. Sickness levels have improved overall from June 2010 when compared with the previous year, with the exception of December 2010. This peak is possibly explained by seasonal flu. Monitoring of sickness absence is undertaken by the HR team and through a close working relationship with line management, on-going support is being given to achieve a reduction in sickness absence levels. Percentage Absence level comparison 2009‐10 / 2010‐11 6.00 5.00 4.00 3.00 2010‐11 2009‐10 2.00 1.00 0.00 Apr May Jun July Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec Jan Feb Mar 2. Short and Long Term Absence The following graph indicates an improvement in the absence levels for long term absence (28 days or more) over the financial year April 2010 – March 2011. Management of these cases is on-going and becoming more robust through facilitation of a regular review of all long term absence between Human Resources, Occupational Health (OH) and Payroll. These cases where the absence is either over 28 days or, where the absence is anticipated to become long term, are identified and an OH referral progressed to enable early intervention and support is available. Absence levels 2010-11 – depicted as Short and Long Term (long term = 28 days or more) 3. Causes of Absence The categories of sickness absence for 2010/11 and the previous year are shown below. The main causes of absence during the year to date in both years were musculoskeletal problems followed by Stress/Anxiety/Depression which is in line with national patterns. The recording of the specific reason for absence has improved which has identified the need for intervention at an early stage and enables appropriate action to be taken in the form of preventative measures and support. Shifts lost by absence reasons 4. Sickness absence by role (shifts lost) Absence in all departments of the service has reduced year to date and is distributed throughout the Service as illustrated below. The category ‘unif’ denotes Operational Staff at Station Manager and above and ’shift’ denotes Firefighters, Crew Managers and Watch Managers with ‘supp’ representing support staff. The graph illustrates the pattern across the year showing the seasonal increases in December and January. Conclusion The pattern of sickness absence is on a downward trend which is encouraging. Of particular note is the reduction in numbers of people on long term sickness absence which can be attributed in part to the closer monitoring and management of the cases. The Service will continue to monitor and analyse sickness absence and undertake proactive activity to continue this downward trend.
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