Latest HMCTS Service Centre opens in Salford bringing expert staff under one roof
Technology delivered by digital transformation and customer experience specialists, FourNet, is helping to improve efficiency within HM Courts and Tribunals Service.
A new HMCTS Service Centre opened this week in Salford Quays, Greater Manchester.
Since 2019, HMCTS has also opened Service Centres in Stoke-on-Trent, Birmingham and Loughborough, delivered in partnership with FourNet, which handle more than one million queries and give people better access to the information and assistance they need.
The latest technology has been delivered by FourNet, as part of a £16.3m contract with HMCTS.
FourNet has provided an integrated service centre solution delivered via ANTENNA– a secure cloud-based communications service developed in partnership with the Prime Minister’s Office and hosted in UK Government data centres.
Richard Pennington, FourNet’s CEO said: “We are delighted to have helped deliver the very latest technology into these new HMCTS service centres and to have done so despite the limitations placed on us by the pandemic. The technology makes life easier for staff and provides a more efficient service for members of the public.”
FourNet was selected as technology partner because its ANTENNA service provides multiple communication features and options which enable members of the public to get in touch easily using the channels most suitable to them.
Each Service Centre brings expert staff together under one roof to provide support and guidance about cases. They’re the first port of call for anyone who wants more information on their case – from legal professionals to public court users.
Una Bennett, HMCTS National Services Director, said: “Our new Salford Quays Courts and Tribunals Service Centre will provide a more streamlined and consistent service for our users. Our team will be able to answer incoming enquiries more quickly, access specific case details so that callers do not have to keep explaining why they are contacting us and provide the right information first time.
“New technology, new ways of working and modern offices will provide staff with the tools they need to provide a better service to those who need our support and guidance.”
HMCTS Service Centre staff are dedicated to handling queries, making responses more efficient and consistent. Staff at courts and tribunals, who were previously handling these queries, will be freed up to support the public and legal professionals during more complex hearings that happen in person.
The Salford site will provide a home for much of HMCTS’ Common Platform work, including providing specialist support for the magistrates’ courts. Examples of the types of queries staff in this Service Centre will handle include calls and emails about social security, child support, probate and divorce.
The existing Service Centres have already helped to improve efficiency. They provide a quicker service that is easier for people to understand and navigate. For example, a divorce carried out digitally can now be completed in 20 weeks on average from start to finish. If carried out on paper this would take around 75 weeks.
This is the fourth Service Centre to open as part of HMCTS’s £1bn reform programme, modernising services since 2016.
FourNet is one of the fastest growing privately-owned tech companies in Britain. Last month, Palatine Private Equity acquired a majority stake in the award-winning business, which has offices in Manchester, Burton-on-Trent and London.