Sophie Cameron

News Editor, Solicitors Journal

Government publishes report on blended advice and access to justice

Government publishes report on blended advice and access to justice


The research report assesses the blended advice models used during the pandemic

The Ministry of Justice published a new research report on blended advice and access to justice on 6 April, which assesses the roll-out and impact of the blended advice models implemented during the Covid-19 pandemic.

Blended advice refers to models of advice delivery, which involve a combination of face-to-face and remote provision of assistance. The analysis report provides evaluation of the ways in which advice organisations used blended delivery models during the pandemic and sets out recommendations on the opportunities and challenges for the future application of remote advice provision and blended advice models.

The findings in the research report, which are based on information gathered from focus groups, case studies and interviews, evaluates the blended models implemented by advice organisations in England and Wales, funded by the Legal Support for Litigants in Person (LSLIP) grant. The two-year LSLIP grant programme was launched in April 2020, in order to fund a range of earlier intervention services for litigants. The grant funded projects that delivered advice on a national, regional and local scale, to litigants in person at different stages of their problem within several areas of civil and family law.

The key findings listed in the report are as follows: the blended advice models used by advisors expanded and evolved throughout the pandemic; combining face-to-face and remote communication presented logistical benefits for the relevant organisations and their clients; there is no ‘one size fits all’ model for the provision of blended advice; effective blended advice provision may be impeded by broader constraints in the advice sector; investment in blended advice has the potential to improve access to justice for clients; some clients will always need face-to-face interactions; there is some evidence to suggest that the effectiveness of blended advice models may be associated with certain circumstances and legal problems; and further investigations are needed to assess the suitability of blended advice models in the future.