In September last year, Lancashire Constabulary hosted the first ever Blue Light Health and Wellbeing conference at its Headquarters in Hutton.
Representatives from Police, Lancashire Fire and Rescue Service and the North West Ambulance Service were all in attendance. Shelby Williams, the Wellbeing Manager for Lancashire Constabulary talks about the day and how it went.
Each of our services were busily working away on our own wellbeing strategies, but as we began to talk to each other, it became apparent that there was a desire to build a regional network so we could share experience, knowledge and best practice of wellbeing approaches across the three emergency services.
We decided to set up a cross-service working group and develop a network made up of both practitioners and managers to ensure greater opportunities and support across the board.
The conference was arranged to take place at our Constabulary HQ and we brought in speakers who talked from their own personal experiences which not only struck a chord with all of us in the room, but brought our attention back to why we were all there – which is to do the best we can to provide the support that our staff need and deserve.
It was a really successful day and it clearly demonstrated that working collaboratively would provide advantages from sharing best practice and understanding of the needs and requirements of our staff moving forward. It also enabled us to test out ideas and share the development of new ways of working, drawing upon the range of expertise that is available across the different disciplines.
We captured the discussion from the day using a company that provides ‘Visual Minutes’ to provide us with a clear, memorable record of the key themes that came out of the day.
This event has led to the development of the Regional Blue Light Network – bringing together all services now including Prison, Highways from across the North West. The new Network held its first Senior Management Conference at Kirkham Prison, led by Dan Farnworth of North West Ambulance Service at the end of February this year.