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Restructuring our support teams

As we continue to navigate our way through this ever-changing environment, our absolute focus throughout these changes is that we continue to be here for people living with and affected by MS for years to come.

The commitment and creativity you and our staff have shown in continuing to support your local communities in new ways has been inspiring, and we’re endlessly grateful for this.

As you know, we have experienced a huge financial impact on our charity and we expect to lose 30% (£10million) of our income this year – and 15% (£5mil) next year. We were already planning some changes through our transformation programme and in line with our strategy, but because of the pandemic and the scale of savings we need to make, we’ve had to go further. 

This has meant stopping some of what we do or doing things differently, including pausing our national grants programme, and refocusing our resources on remote support. We’ve also had to make significant changes to our staff structure which sadly means saying goodbye to a number of valued colleagues. This has not been easy and we wish them all the best for the future.

Restructuring our organisation

Phase one of our staff restructure, which is now at implementation stage, focused primarily on community facing roles. Yesterday (13 October) we began consultation on phase two. This phase will focus on our internal support services.

The proposed changes in phase two focus on reducing costs in our support areas, whilst also looking at ways we can be more efficient, for example by bringing together roles or teams that are currently spread across the organisation. The consultation period will run for 30 days, and we expect to communicate the outcome towards the end of November.

There is more detail on these changes below, however following feedback from volunteers throughout consultation in phase one, there are some important points to provide clarity on first.

Although these changes do not directly impact our volunteer community, having a high functioning support system in place is vitally important in making sure we deliver the greatest impact and experience for our community, including volunteers.

Fairness across the two phases

Many of you expressed concerns as to whether the savings we are making are fairly spread across our community facing staff and our support areas.

We can confirm that the £4m total annual savings which we will be making as a result of these restructurings and the other savings measures we are making will indeed fall proportionately across our community-facing and support activities. We have done everything we can to minimise the impact of these savings on our community.

Now that the details of our phase two proposals have been thought through, we can confirm that, as intended, the number of roles proposed to be removed across the two phases amounts to 53.

Balancing senior management levels

We’ve looked at our leadership roles across the organisation to ensure we have the right balance.

We already reduced our Executive Director team by 33% (from 6 to 4) in December 2019. In addition to this reduction, we expect the overall reduction across both phases of this restructure to amount to around 20% reduction in senior management roles.

This is a proportionately higher reduction than for other levels of roles within our organisation. Going forward, we’ll look for opportunities to refine our management structures as part of our ongoing focus on continuously improving our overall efficiency and effectiveness.

You can find out more about each affected area by clicking the links below:

  1. Our Supporter Experience team (including Supporter Care) and roles across the organisation with an administrative focus (including Executive Assistants)
  2. Our Corporate Services which include data and data governance, facilities management, finance, human resources, strategy and impact and Information and Communications Technology
  3. A small number of focussed teams
  4. Contacting us

Our Supporter Experience team (including Supporter Care) and roles across the organisation with an administrative focus (including Executive Assistants)

We’re proposing to create a new Customer Service and Central Administration team. This team will bring together roles across the organisation that include a customer and supporter focus or administrative element which are currently dispersed throughout the organisation, into a single team. The new team will be the first point of contact for supporters and members of the public as well as oversee office management and admin processes across all four nations.

Some of the functions being brought together are:​

  • Supporter Care - first line supporter communications
  • Online shop team
  • Reception and office management​ Health and Safety
  • Donation processing​ (including direct debit management)

By bringing these teams together, it will increase consistency and efficiency and achieve cost savings.

We’re also proposing one team to look after governance and support to the Chair, CEO and Directors. This Governance and Executive Office team would bring together the Executive Assistants across the organisation into one team along with the governance team, reducing the number of roles. Bringing together dispersed roles into one Governance and Executive office will result in integrated planning as well as the consistent and efficient working of our leadership team especially as they interact with their significant stakeholders e.g. national councils, advisory groups and appeal boards.

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Our Corporate Services which include data and data governance, facilities management, finance, human resources, strategy and impact, and Information and Communications Technology (ICT)

To improve efficiency, some changes in this phase involve bringing together teams from across the organisation which carry out similar tasks. Our Corporate Services Directorate will continue to oversee financial management, ICT provision, strategy and impact, HR, data and data governance and facilities.

The roles currently in supporter experience which oversee gift aid management, as well as contracts management and procurement of suppliers, will become part of the new Finance, Facilities and Procurement team.

The data and data governance functions will be split across our ICT and Strategy and Impact functions to improve efficiency and security across our systems as well as ensuring that we become more data and insight driven to improve our impact and reach in the MS community.

Human Resources will be reduced and restructured to make sure the team can achieve maximum impact working in the right way across the organisation operationally as well as strategically.

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A small number of other focussed teams

Teams brought together in the Corporate Services directorate will lead on our organisational strategy development and performance, and impact monitoring.

In our Engagement and Income Generation (E&IG) directorate, we’re also refocusing roles which look after E&IG strategy and planning to make sure we use consistent and efficient processes and embed data to improve the impact of our income generation strategy.

We’ll also adapt our Innovation, Insight and Co-production function to help us use data and insight to embed our new approach to service innovation.

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Contacting us

The Supporter Care team is impacted by this phase of our restructure, therefore due to sensitivities they will be experiencing, we ask that you do not direct enquiries about the restructure to them.

Please use the email address here: [email protected] and we will record your feedback and reply to enquiries.

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