UK's first cross-emergency services collaboration working group
Blue light service leaders from across the country met for the first time last week (Wednesday 24th September) under a new national working group, led by Hertfordshire’s Police and Crime Commissioner (PCC).

Commissioner David Lloyd chaired the first meeting, which was held at the Home Office in London and attended by representatives from the Association of Chief Police Officers, Local Government Association, College of Policing, Chief Fire Officers Association and Association of Ambulance Chief Executives.

David Lloyd himself represents the country’s PCCs for the Association of Police and Crime Commissioners.

He said: “This is an exciting and challenging time for all emergency services across the country. This new group aims to provide strategic leadership, co-ordination and overview of current and future collaboration between those services as they strive to work together to provide better and more efficient services to the communities we serve.

“There is already a great deal of successful joint working in different parts of the UK and, as a group, we want to drive and facilitate even greater collaboration. We aim to remove the barriers that are holding back this work and unlock new opportunities.”

He added: “The work of this group to oversee the country is vital as, although great work is already in place, the same mistakes and challenges are being made because there is no process to gather lessons and share them.”

Ministers from the Home Office, Department for Communities and Local Government and Department of Health have written to the new Working Group welcoming its formation and have jointly provided £162,000 of government funding to support its efforts to drive collaborative working between the emergency services.

The Cross-Emergency Services Collaboration Working Group discussed current examples of successful collaborative working* (see Editor’s Note) and the need for further research to be conducted to evaluate existing collaboration projects, establishing an evidence base for greater collaboration across the emergency services.

The group will meet quarterly and chairing of the meetings will be rotated between members. 

The Office of the PCC for Hertfordshire and Hertfordshire Fire & Rescue Service has seconded a national Lead Officer to implement and oversee agreed programmes of work.  The PCC’s office will also provide administrative support for the group.