Cathy Ingram (Debt Technical Office - HMRC)
The customers at the Debt Technical Office (DTO) have diverse financial situations and varying social and cultural backgrounds; some are vulnerable and require particular care and understanding, which they receive from Cathy. She provides the best possible service as a point of contact for victims of domestic violence and acts as a champion for vulnerable customers and those with mental health issues. There was no published guidance available to our staff to adequately support our vulnerable customers, so Cathy researched any learning material she could find on the internet and liaised with HMRC policy teams and senior leaders to improve standards and establish best practice.
Initially this role was treated as a specialist area, and Cathy alone dealt with customers on very low incomes and those experiencing health problems or extremely distressing trauma. Cathy treated each customer as an individual, using empathy, sensitivity and tact. However, due to a rapidly increasing workload, it was agreed that all members of staff should be trained to deal with vulnerable customers. Cathy addressed this transition of work by designing materials and delivering training for 100 staff including managers, and helping to reshape policies and determine best practise.