Progress of Action 2.3

Action 2.3: Develop and implement a contemporary Health Model, which establishes state-wide comprehensive organisational health standards, policies and support mechanisms that are designed to proactively manage and mitigate health risks whilst improving the effectiveness and quality of care provided to our firefighters and corporate staff.

Action objective: FRV employees are supported by a coherent fit-for-purpose Health Model designed, endorsed by Executive Leadership Team and implemented organisation-wide.

Lead agency: FRV

Year Two to Five Plan (November 2021) completion dateYear Two to Five Plan (updated May 2023) completion dateAgency reported status as at 30 June 2023
June 2023June 2023In progress – minor delays

Context

This action requires FRV to deliver and implement a health model that is fit-for-purpose and incorporates health and safety standards, policies and support mechanisms that manage and mitigate health risks whilst improving the quality of care for FRV staff.

A successful FRV Health Model will support the following outcomes:

  • personalised care
  • physically and psychologically prepared recruits
  • minimised health risk
  • injury prevention
  • legislative compliant systems
  • confidence to manage ongoing health needs
  • foster a safe and respected workforce.

Progress summary

As at 30 June 2023, FRV reported that this action is in progress with minor delays.

FRV has created and updated internal processes and procedures (such as creating business rules to integrate internal teams with external health providers) and communicated these changes to facilitate embedding the FRV Health Model into BAU. A roll-out and communication plan was created and delivered by FRV’s Director Safety and Wellbeing, ACFO Health, Safety and Wellbeing, Deputy Commissioner Office of the Fire Rescue Commissioner and additional organisational representatives. FRV undertook extensive engagement activities to inform staff (including staff seconded to CFA) of changes to health, safety and wellbeing services and service provision delivery (such as dedicated Commander and ACFO training in February 2023). FRV met with senior UFU stakeholders fortnightly to support health model implementation, noting that FRV took a staged approach to service transition to ensure coordinated uptake across the organisation.

1. Medical and psychological services

The FRV Health Model transitioned medical and psychological services contracts from those rolled over from the MFB to new service providers better suited to the needs of the new FRV service delivery model. The new FRV medical and psychological services provide FRV staff with access to services when required (24 hours per day) and within one hour of each FRV District across Victoria. A telehealth function is available for staff that may work outside of FRV Districts, such as staff seconded to CFA.

FRV reported that it transitioned to a new medical services contractor on 8 March 2023 and a new psychological services contractor on 23 April 2023. Both services are now in operation across all FRV Districts.

2. Health, Safety and Wellbeing transition

As at June 2023, FRV has implemented its Health, Safety and Wellbeing transition plan. This transition plan includes benchmarking FRV health, safety and wellbeing initiatives against programs at other emergency service organisations. The transition plan includes procurement, recruitment, policy and process development, stakeholder communication, and continuous improvement approaches to guide and embed health and safety initiatives in BAU. The following health, safety and wellbeing services have transitioned to BAU:

  • recovery
  • psychological
  • health and hygiene
  • physical preparation
  • injury prevention and rehabilitation
  • safety.

Currently, seconded staff are required to use CFA’s and FRV’s hazard and injury reporting systems, CFASafe and FRVSafe, concurrently when reporting hazards and injuries. FSIM observes that although this is not an efficient process, this interim workaround provides CFA with awareness of hazards and incidents observed by secondees to assist in maintaining a safe workplace. FRV also requires awareness of hazards and incidents from its staff to help it manage its duty of care to its workforce. FSIM observes that CFA and FRV are working to streamline the hazard and injury reporting process to address this issue through the Secondment Agreement supplementary instrument ‘OHS reporting and WorkSafe’ (see action 3.9).

At the end of the reporting period, the FRV Health Model had gone live and transitioned to BAU, with the online FRV Health Hub providing an accessible touchpoint for all staff (including seconded staff) to access services and find information relating to the FRV Health Model.

Ongoing oversight of this BAU program will be via FRV’s Health, Safety and Wellbeing department, which will report to FRV ELT on the progress towards the program’s outcomes.

Findings

FSIM finds action 2.3 is progressing.

Updated