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3.32 Publicly funded helplines are possibly the most over-stretched of all phone- based services in the public sector, with callers either failing to find the help they need or simply failing to get through. The onus to coordinate help where a number of services are required is clearly placed on the citizen. The potential for failure in this situation is high and with an increase in issues such as personal indebtedness and obesity, helpline services, if left unchanged, will require higher levels of funding and may still find it increasingly hard to reach those who need them. The Ministry of Justice is leading work to find better ways of managing publicly funded helplines. This is complex — from the point of view of the customer the existing landscape is extremely fragmented, and it is not always clear where to go for help. The issues which these services deal with — such as indebtedness, relationships, health — almost invariably overlap and conventional customer or task segmentations have proven ineffective.

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