A Resident’s Report
My name is Jo Alphous and I am the Chair of the resident Scrutiny Panel.
Panel members are all Swan residents and we scrutinise Swan’s performance. We meet every two months and we look, in detail, at how Swan are performing, how they make sure they get value for money and at a service area.
The first area we looked at was how accessible Swan’s complaints process is. We chose this as we feel it is important that Swan receives feedback from residents to improve services.
How did we go about it?
- We scrutinised reports, leaflets and the websites
- We contacted fellow residents to ask their views
- We interviewed staff
- We ‘mystery shopped’ staff
- We ‘shadowed’ the complaints team for a day to see how they logged complaints, how investigations happened and what they did with the results
What did we find?
Overall, we thought Swan handles complaints well; we found that the Service Improvement Team are very helpful and knowledgeable and that performance is monitored monthly through a comprehensive report.
We found some areas for improvement…
We found that there are lots of ways to make a complaint: by email, phone, in person etc. However, all the literature focused on customer “feedback” and we thought that it would be easier for residents if complaints were called complaints.
- Swan have set up a new email inbox: [email protected]
- Swan have changed their website so that any search using the word ‘complaint’ will direct residents to the necessary information
We found that about 70% of complaints are about repairs and we thought that the systems between Swan and Axis could be improved.
- Swan confirmed that when you make a complaint they will let you know who will be investigating and resolving the problem
- Swan aim to respond to 50% of complaints within 24 hours
We found that not all staff defined a complaint in the same way and when we talked to residents some felt they had made a complaint when staff thought they were requesting a service.
- Swan will train staff on what is and what is not a complaint
- Swan will ensure that staff record all service requests to make sure these are dealt with
We found that Swan could provide more information to residents about how they learn from complaints.
In each edition of The Communicator Swan will:
- Set out more detailed information on complaints received
- Set out what Swan has learned
- Show how complaints are helping Swan to improve the service for residents
As a panel we are delighted that Swan has taken our feedback on board. We will continue to monitor the improvements and, in about six months’ time, we will test if these actions have made a difference! We look forward to giving you an update then.
In the meantime, we are about to start our next review. As we hope you can see from this article, the Scrutiny Panel really does make a difference. If you are interested in joining us, please contact the Resident Involvement Team on 01277 844242.
Chair of the Resident