The recent report from the Housing Ombudsman covers 13 cases from 2019-2021.
In these cases, Clarion has not provided the quality of service we aim to, or that our residents deserve. We have learned from these cases. In every instance, we have made changes to our approach so that we reduce the chance of a similar issue arising.
During the course of the investigation, we collaborated with the Ombudsman. We shared the work we are doing to secure lasting improvements. We have also worked with our residents to review the learning. We accepted and implemented their recommendations for change.
We have been working across our organisation to secure lasting improvements to our service. As part of this, we embed a positive complaints-handling culture. The cases considered in the report were referred to the Ombudsman. As a result, we have completed a service review of our complaints handling process. We have taken the decision to establish a dedicated Quality Team to oversee the quality of the information we provide. This team measures the quality of the handling of the complaint. We are also setting up regional complaints-focused panels. They will drive forward complaints on time.
To further strengthen accountability, we have developed ‘Super User’ roles. They are responsible for seeing the complaint through from collating information to resolution. We are also piloting new Resident Liaison Officer (RLO) roles. RLOs act as the single point of contact for residents in complex repair cases. These cases involve several appointments and often different contractors. RLOs ensure residents are kept up to date at every stage of the process.
We know that resident involvement is key to service improvement. We formed a dedicated complaints group made up of 19 of our residents in January 2022. This group gave feedback which was used in Clarion’s Customer Complaints Policy. This policy features in our online complaints training module for colleagues. 700 of our residents responded to our online Customer Complaints survey. The results have also supported the amendments made.
Clarion carries out over 1,300 repairs per day. Our dedicated team is trained problem solvers who take accountability for resolving issues. This year, we have invested in new equipment to support the early detection of damp and mold. We have taken advantage of new technology to track property interventions. This allows us to measure and report results. Our new, proactive and data-led approach allows us to catch problems early. We act before they become bigger and more disruptive problems for our residents.
We are determined to learn from the Ombudsman’s report. We will drive continuous improvement and be transparent with our residents as we make changes.