We are all aware of the challenges we have in the UC Full Service at the moment – trying hard to deliver our vision of case management while managing significant volumes of phone calls. You have told us how frustrating you find trying to balance these demands and we have listened to those concerns. This note sets out a plan to organise our business differently, at least for the next few months, and possibly longer.
We have taken the decision to ring-fence the resource we need to manage current telephony volumes; this will allow us to focus expertise in this area, drive channel shift in a more targeted way, and free up the rest of the network to deliver true case management. Importantly, we want colleagues responding to calls to operate as telephony case managers, offering great customer service by taking whatever action is needed to clear the reason for the call, and if the claim is within the first Assessment Period, clearing any other outstanding actions that will ensure payment can be made in full and on time. We need colleagues doing this work to help us keep cases on track and to understand all of the things we need in place to drive contact from the phone to self-service through the online account. I do realise that until we have the technology to allow us to route calls directly to the case manager we will still have an imperfect model, but I’m convinced we can make this work in the meantime.
Alongside this wider change, we also plan to test a more focused Channel Shift model in a team in Canterbury Service Centre, linked to Hammersmith Jobcentre. I will share more detail of that with you in the next few weeks.
We will be asking colleagues in Grimsby Service Centre to lead for the network in telephony case management, with a supporting team in Middlesbrough to manage peak call volumes. This means that all other Service Centres will operate case management, with no inbound telephony work. Grimsby has always been a high performing telephony site, with lots of experience in delivering great service and driving channel shift, and I know they will see this as a challenge worthy of them.
In addition to these changes, we will be moving all of the email in-box work into Blackpool Service Centre to be operated at a national level, supported by a newly designed process and in-box structure. Overtime will help us to clear much of the outstanding work in the site level boxes (much of which we know will be duplicate entries). Clearing this work will also go a long way towards reducing overdue To Dos and as a consequence, telephone calls into the service.
These changes, combined with the expansion of our network, mean that we will be changing some of our links with Jobcentres. We have worked with WSD colleagues to agree the new Jobcentre groupings; this will obviously mean some sites building a new set of relationships, but I know you will make that happen and keep the end to end service model working in the great way it is now.
In terms of timing, the national in-box will move to Blackpool during w/c 10 Oct (while we continue to clear site level entries during overtime) and we will start the move of cases out of Grimsby to create the telephony capacity from 17 October. There will be training and support for people who need it of course, and this is being planned now.