We held three meetings with Resident Panel members in March. Our plenary sessions focused on sharing how we used members feedback from our first annual Resident Panel Survey including the revisions made to our strengthened Complaint Handling Code. This was followed by a special interest meeting where 100 members were invited to participate in a smaller group forum to discuss and share their views on how landlords demonstrate learning from complaints and our (interim) customer charter.
Full panel meetings
All panel members were invited to one of two plenary meetings which provided an overview of members’ responses to our first annual perception survey where we asked for views on landlords’ complaints process, increasing awareness of complaints and accessing our service. We also demonstrated how this feedback was used to strengthen our Complaint Handling Code.
During this session we held two polls to get members’ views on engagement with their landlords’ code self-assessment.
Q1. Were you invited to take part in your landlord’s self-assessment on the Complaint Handling Code?
Q2. Would you like to be involved in your landlord’s self-assessment on the Complaint Handling Code?
The presentation slides from the session are in Helpful links (see right).
We were also joined by two panel members who spoke about their involvement in their landlord’s code self-assessment process and their engagement as involved residents. Thank you to John Bennett and Neal Wylde for their insightful contributions.
The last section of each meeting was an online Q&A session with all Panel members and the Ombudsman team. The session covered areas such as:
- Landlord compliance with the Complaint Handling Code and self-assessment
- The complaints handling process and how residents can contact the Ombudsman service
- Information on systemic investigations and how they could impact on residents
- Our work around using mediation to resolve complaints.
- Non-compliance with the Code and Complaint Handling Failure Orders
Special interest discussion forum
One hundred panel members were invited to take part in a further meeting where the two topics of demonstrating learning from complaints and the Ombudsman’s (interim) customer charter were discussed in smaller groups. Some of the key points highlighted from those discussions were:
Demonstrating learning from complaints
Q1. How does your landlord communicate learning from complaints?
- Broadly there has been positive change following the implementation of the Complaint Handling Code.
- Members experience varied positive engagements via regular meetings, newsletters, scrutiny groups, boards and complaint feedback. Others saw little demonstration of learning and reference to the Ombudsman service.
Q2. How would you like to see your landlord improve its learning from complaints?
- Members would like to see better communication throughout the process of complaints demonstrating what they are addressing and clear time frames on when this will be complete
- Members would like to see a variety of engagement methods including digital formats
- More top-level staff engagement in the complaints process and demonstrations of learning, including the involvement of residents.
Q3. Do you have any good examples of where your landlord has demonstrated learning from complaints?
- One member noted their involvement with their landlord’s scrutiny panel. During the hight of COVID the panel was used to support the backlog of complaints offering a resident perspective on issued raised
- One member’s landlord issued mental health awareness training to all staff following a residents complaint.
Do you think that the proposed Charter is fair and clear?
- Members thought the changes were positive, clear and concise
- Members would like to see clarity on routes to the service for vulnerable residents and accessibility routes highlighted
- Members suggested the charter should be highly visible on initial contact with the service.
We are thinking about adding in a section called ‘The Charter in Action’ that will share case studies of how we have lived up to our Charter.
- Collectively members thought that sharing good practice case studies was a good idea
- Members would like to see examples of cases outside of the Ombudsman’s jurisdiction that have been signposted to advice agencies along with cases that have effected a change in outcome.
Actions and next steps
Our first annual perception survey of panel members has supported our annual complaints review and strengthened complaint handling code published March 2022. A second survey is due later this year to provide further feedback.
Our Interim customer charter is being reviewed using members feedback from the discussion groups. An updated version is expected to be published in May and we will start sharing case studies to demonstrate the charter in action.
Feedback taken from residents will be shared with landlords through our upcoming landlord regional forums which have a focus on learning from complaints along with our series of webinars in partnership with HQN.
Our next round of member meetings will be held in the Autumn.