Ombudsman Complaints Self-Assessment & Performance

Introduction

The new Housing Ombudsman’s Complaint Handling Code requires landlords to undertake a self-assessment against this new code

The purpose of the Code is to enable landlords to resolve complaints raised by customers quickly and to use the learning from complaints to drive service improvements.  It supports the regulatory approach to complaints, ensuring that the approach to complaint handling is clear, simple and accessible to customers, and ensures that complaints are resolved promptly, politely and fairly.

Below you will find our self-assessment which was undertaken in April 2021 outlining our performance against the code.

Date of self-assessment: 31st December 2021 [Assessment no.5]

01.10.21 – 31.12.21

 

1 – Definition of a complaint

Definition: An expression of dissatisfaction however made, about the standard of service, actions or lack of action by the organisation, its own staff, or those acting on its behalf, affecting an individual resident or group of residents. 

Answer

You can view our Customer Concerns and Complaints Policy and Procedure here.

Evidence relied upon: Exclusions are clearing listed within our Complaints Policy as detailed below to provide clarity to customers.

Answer

*All policies that directly affect customers are taken to our Customer Assembly for consultation and feedback prior to publication. This also applies to policies upon review where there are material changes that would impact customers.

  • An initial request for service
  • An initial request for information
  • Dissatisfaction with a *policy
  • Anti-social Behaviour (reports of ASB are managed via our ASB policy and procedure)
  • Allocation decisions by the local authority (complainant would be referred to the relevant local authority)
  • Insurance Claims 
  • Complaints by staff in relation to terms and conditions of service
  • General correspondence from Councillors & MPs not directly related to a complaint
  • There are legal proceedings concerning the matter

2 – Accessibility

Answer

No.

We do not have a stand-alone reasonable adjustments policy, we have ensured we have included this requirement within our Equality & Diversity Policy section 5.2 and Concerns & Complaints Policy 6.1 and 6.2)

3 – Complaints team and process

4 – Communication

5 – Cooperation with Housing Ombudsman Service

6 – Fairness in complaint handling

7 – Outcomes and remedies

8 – Continuous learning and improvement

Answer

  •  Improved communication around repairs, including ‘how-to’ videos for minor repairs.
  • Review undertaken of shared boilers in Independent Living schemes due to number of breakdowns.
  • Staff training to better diagnose repair at point of contact along within planners now within same management area to better facilitate a more joined up approach regarding the receiving and planning of repairs.
  • Identified need for further staff training in managing difficult conversations which has been included within Corporate Training Plan.
  • Introduction of ‘customer voice’ action plan incorporating learning from complaints to ensure organisational wide learning amongst service areas.
  • Daily reports in place from security provider to ensure agreed patrols are being carried out.
  • House-packs for new builds on sign up to assist with repairs.
  • Review of Management move process being undertaken.  
  • Introduced service level agreement internally for handling of customer permission requests
  • Introduction of action tracker for complaint resolutions to provide greater oversight and accountability across organisation
  • Review of complaints and learning at Operational Managers meeting (standing item) – to drive continuous learning and service improvements
  • Improvement to market rent process when undertaking credit check as part of application process.

Customers?

Via e-newsletter advising of ‘you said, we did’ and reporting to our Customer Assembly (strategy customer body) on a quarterly basis and utilising to assist them in determining scrutiny topics.

The Board/Governing body?

Complaints data forms part of information provided at our quarterly Performance and Assurance Clinic and overview is included in quarterly Customer Experience report and taken to Audit & Risk Committee on a quarterly basis.

In the Annual Report?

Yes

Answer

  • Identified designated ‘Complaints Officer’ – this sits within the Customer Experience Managers role.
  • Formal complaint handling training undertaken November 2020 by Customer Experience Manager along with three service managers to ensure adequate resource, whilst also ensuring fairness and transparency along with support to customers during the complaints process. In June 2021 a further three managers have been trained to increase capacity and responsiveness to customers.
  • Internal audit of complaints and responses put into place from 1.4.21 to review quality of responses and ensure timescales are fully met.
  • *To strengthen our approach a new role has been agreed in Q2 that will come into effect in Q3 – Complaints Resolution Officer, with sole focus of complaint management and resolution. 
  • Complaints Resolution Officer recruited and in post 04.01.2022