Housing Ombudsman Complaint Handling Code - self assessment

Our annual assessment against the Housing Ombudsman's Complaint Handling Code.

We are required to comply with the requirements of the Housing ombudsman's Complaint Handling Code.

Part of the requirements are to carry out self-assessment against the code, and make amendments to our complaints handling where requirements for change are identified.
 

Compliance with the Complaint Handling Code assessment

1 Definition of a complaint

Does the complaints process use the following definition of a complaint?

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: Yes

Does the policy have exclusions where a complaint will not be considered?

Answer: Yes

Are these exclusions reasonable and fair to residents?

Answer: Yes

Evidence: We have a 6 month time limit, unless there are extenuating circumstances

2 Accessibility

Are multiple accessibility routes available for residents to make a complaint?

Answer: Yes

Is the complaints policy and procedure available online?

Answer: Yes

Do we have a reasonable adjustments policy?

Answer: Yes

Do we regularly advise residents about our complaints process?

Answer: Yes

3 Complaints team and process

Is there a complaint officer or equivalent in post?

Answer: Yes

Does the complaint officer have autonomy to resolve complaints?

Answer: No

Does the complaint officer have authority to compel engagement from other departments to resolve disputes?

Answer: Yes

If there is a third stage to the complaints procedure are residents involved in the decision making?

Answer: No

Is any third stage optional for residents?

Answer: No

Does the final stage response set out residents' right to refer the matter to the Housing Ombudsman Service?

Answer: Yes

Do we keep a record of complaint correspondence including correspondence from the resident?

Answer: Yes

At what stage are most complaints resolved?

Answer: At the first stage

4 Communication

Are residents kept informed and updated during the complaints process?

Answer: Yes

Are residents informed of the landlord's position and given a chance to respond and challenge any area of dispute before the final decision?

Answer: No

Are all complaints acknowledged and logged within 5 days?

Answer: Yes

Are residents advised of how to escalate at the end of each stage?

Answer: Yes

What proportion of complaints are resolved at stage one?

Answer: 75%

What proportion of complaints are resolved at stage two?

Answer: 25%

What proportion of complaint responses are sent within Code timescales?

• Stage one

Stage one (with extension)

Answer: 75%

• Stage two

Stage two (with extension)

Answer: 25%

Where timescales have been extended did we have good reason? - N/A

Where timescales have been extended did we keep the resident informed? - N/A

What proportion of complaints do we resolve to residents' satisfaction?

Answer: 94%

5 Cooperation with Housing Ombudsman Service

Were all requests for evidence responded to within 15 days?

Answer: Yes

Where the timescale was extended did we keep the Ombudsman informed?

Answer: Yes

6 Fairness in complaint handling

Are residents able to complain via a representative throughout?

Answer: Yes

If advice was given, was this accurate and easy to understand?

Answer: Yes

How many cases did we refuse to escalate?

Answer: None

What was the reason for the refusal?

Answer: N/A

Did we explain our decision to the resident?

Answer: N/A

7 Outcomes and remedies

Where something has gone wrong are we taking appropriate steps to put things right?

Answer: Yes

8 Continuous learning and improvement

What improvements have we made as a result of learning from complaints?

Answer: Feedback is given to officers. All complaints are discussed at operational board meetings with our repairs partner, to make service improvements.

How do we share these lessons with:

a) residents?

Answer: In the Annual Report

b) the board/governing body?

Answer: Reported to meetings of the Governance, Audit and Performance Committee

c) In the Annual Report?

Answer: Yes

Has the Code made a difference to how we respond to complaints?

Answer: Yes

What changes have we made?

Answer: Introduced a new template for letters and aligned process with our repairs partner.