Health and Wellbeing Research


Wellbeing is a holistic concept that includes physical, mental, and spiritual wellness. It is about both feeling good and functioning well. Good health and wellbeing is more than the absence of disease – it is thriving within an individual’s experience of their life. (Warwick-Edinburgh Mental Wellbeing Scale, 2020)

Previously health and wellbeing across the fire sector has been historically defined, developed and delivered at service level due to localism following the changes at national level in the sector and the differing governance models. The approach to health and wellbeing also did not have access to a sector-specific, coordinated, synthesised, evidence base. This left each service and governance body to base decisions about support packages on a limited understanding of how different career trajectories can require different preventions or interventions at different time points based on length of service, age, level of seniority or different exposures in role to physical or emotional harms.

Over the last two years the National Fire Chiefs Council, Fire Fighters Charity and Nottingham Trent University (NTU) have conducted a three-stage research and evidence review to understand the health and wellbeing of employees of fire and rescue services across the UK. The purpose of this work was to establish a shared understanding and joint resource pool for the sector to effectively support the health and wellbeing of fire service employees. This included both grey and green book staff and all levels of management and roles.


The research culminated in the production of two key foundation documents, namely, ‘Mapping the Health and Wellbeing Across the Firefighting Career and Assessing the Current Demands’ and the ‘Recommended Key Priorities for the Next Fire and Rescue Health and Wellbeing Strategy’, which outline the current and future wellbeing needs of the fire and rescue sector and outline a recommended direction of travel for all relevant parties based on the research undertaken in this work. You can read these reports below, along with a shorter summary report.

NTU have also produced further additional documents for specific audiences which are available on the additional documents page.