Quality approach at LeO

LeO has reviewed and revamped its approach to quality.
Find out why and how.

LeO’s Quality Team from L-R: Philippa, Lisa, Jodie and Sam

LeO’s Quality Team from L-R: Philippa, Lisa, Jodie and Sam

The Legal Ombudsman (LeO)’s self managing Quality Team has recently reviewed its approach to measuring quality and developed new ways of working to benefit customers and employees.

They’ve moved away from a quality system dominated by quality control and assurance, to a quality improvement framework that will develop, and continuously work to improve, its customers’ experience. After all, that’s what quality should be – something that helps us understand, meet and, over time, exceed customers’ expectations. But what did the change entail? We spoke to the team to find out more.

‘We knew that we needed to overhaul our approach,’ Philippa explained. ‘We recognised that our previous system meant that people didn’t get timely feedback. We reviewed closed files, so even if issues were discovered, there wasn’t a chance to change things for the benefit of the customer.’

Lisa agrees. ‘We also knew that the way reviews were conducted didn’t really allow us scope to ensure a continuous cycle of improvement and weren’t particularly popular.

Our investigators felt that regardless of whether the customers’ experience had been positive, that they were being measured on aspects that didn’t reflect what good quality is about.’

The team met with staff from across LeO to discuss and develop the new approach.  ‘It was important that we got buy-in for the framework, which was developed by examining best practice from outside LeO, and through incorporating ideas from internal feedback,’ said Jodie.

‘We didn’t want to just impose a whole new way of working – we wanted to make sure that we took on board views, comments and ideas from around the organisation.’

‘We now plan to carry out one independent review a month, which will tie in with what we look at in our customer satisfaction survey. Team leaders will carry out four live case checks per investigator each month,’ Sam explained. ‘They’ll look at the case just after initial contact – to make sure that information requested has been provided, for example – so it’s really just to quality check that the case is off to a good start. They’ll also check the four cases between days 45 and 56 to look at the possibility of informal resolution before going to Recommendation Report stage. They’ll examine, with the investigator, whether the right route has been taken or if there’s a need for additional evidence, for example.’

‘We also recognise that more consistent ombudsman feedback is necessary for investigators to improve quality at LeO,’ Philippa concluded. ‘They’ll be involved in feeding back on all cases and answering specific questions about what’s good and not so good, which will also help quality at LeO become a real learning experience and improvement mechanism. It’s all about creating a more holistic approach in future.

We believe that the new approach and tools we use will help us to share good practice and act on what we learn to continually improve our service.’

If you’d like to find out more about LeO’s new approach to quality, email:
quality@legalombudsman.org.uk

Photo: Penny Mathews

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