Improving people’s experience, so that everyone leaves us with the knowledge and confidence they need to find a way forward

For 80 years the Citizens Advice service has been providing free, confidential, independent advice to anyone who needs it.  

Last year we helped around 17,000 people with more than 42,000 issues through our advice, information and support services in Wiltshire. 

No one else sees so many people with so many different kinds of problems as the Citizens Advice service and, the people we help are overwhelmingly positive about the service they receive from us. 

infographic showing two ways in which our advice makes a difference

Our foundations are strong, but we’ve got plenty more to do so that we can help more people. Demand for our services still far outstrips what we can provide.

The biggest area of complaint we have, albeit a handful, is about waiting times, either at a drop in session or for a face-to-face appointment. 

We also recognise that not everyone is the same. Equality, diversity and inclusion are in our DNA and at the heart of what we do. 

Our advice is for everyone and we work hard to design our services to work for a range of needs, including those with the most complex problems or where the number of people affected is small.

We know that having to wait during a drop in session can be difficult for people that work, have poor physical or mental health, or have caring responsibilities.

We also recognise that when there is a long queue and we are very busy everyone, including our staff and volunteers can feel under pressure, which can lead to people feeling unable to discuss their problems fully.

infographic showing two ways in which having a problem affects someones health and wellbeing

So, we’ve set ourselves some ambitious targets to improve people’s experience, so that everyone leaves us with the knowledge and confidence they need to find a way forward. 

And that starts now…

From Monday 5 August 2019 we are introducing an appointment only day, one day a week at our offices in Chippenham, Devizes, Salisbury and Trowbridge

We will not run a drop in advice service on that day to enable us to carry-out pre-booked appointments.  

Our aim is that appointment days will:

  • help alleviate the need for long waiting times and anxieties that can accompany this, meaning that people feel more able to discuss their problem fully, and will have more time to do so,
  • give people the option to book an appointment to fit with their needs at that particular time, 
  • enable our advisers to be aware of the person's needs prior to their appointment and therefore be able to plan for this and provide a carefully thought through advice appointment where the client can benefit fully from the adviser’s knowledge, research and skills.

We will still complete some appointments on drop in days, like we do now.

We know there will be challenges along the way. We recognise that we may not always get some things right, especially early on but we also know that we must try to make things better for the people that need us today, and in the future.

Here you can find full details of all our opening times and where to find us, including other ways to get in touch, for example advice over the telephone, or download a copy of our new opening times leaflet.   

  

Published on Monday 29 July 2019

by Claire, Wiltshire Citizens Advice