We would like to provide our partner businesses and stakeholders with some information about our current status, approach and actions, plus the business continuity plan (BCP) for Ombudsman Services.
Our top priority is to ensure the service remains available and consistent for customers, businesses, regulators and other stakeholders, and for the safety and wellbeing of our people.
We’d also like to reassure you that we are monitoring and following the guidelines set out by the government, PHE (Public Health England), PHW (Lechyd Cyhoeddus Cymru) and other sources (detailed below) to ensure that we are making effective decisions in line with daily news and status updates.
Our plan mirrors the four stages outlined by the government which is centred around containment, delay, research and mitigate.
Ombudsman Services use third party suppliers to provide additional support and resource during the course of normal business as well as during extraordinary times.
For example, a service is already in place to triage inbound complaints. The supplier provides both office-based resource and home working provision. The balance and nature of this resource is flexible such that Ombudsman Services can meet the needs of our customers in a timely way. And for cases that require full investigation, we have a partnership in place which operates based on resource which is entirely made up of home workers. They are already set up to manage situations such as this.
Ombudsman Services also has the ability to replicate the office environment for 99% of colleagues, enabling them to work from home. We are currently working in this context.
We can, and are, providing the service as usual, in line with our regulatory service level agreements.
Quality assurance processes and procedures also continue as usual.
Our partners and member businesses are experiencing business as usual, so we ask you to follow standard procedures, to stay in system, and if required, contact us as usual. Due to the flexibility of the operating model we are able to scale up further resource if required and manage demand and supply, unless we experience especially high levels of sickness and absence or a dramatic increase in the volume of complaints, over a short period of time.
We would like to advise you that at this time, there is no anticipated need for special measures to be put in to place and all cases should continue through the Case Management System as usual.
We are following the relevant guidelines (referenced below). Senior Leaders and the Business Continuity Plan team members, (BCP team), convene daily to assess any changes in these fast changing, unprecedented times.
We continue to consider our customers, colleagues and stakeholders and to review the service and resource accordingly.
We also wish to extend our thoughts and best wishes to all those personally affected by the Coronavirus.