Your guide part five: service standards
We are committed to providing high quality services in all aspects of its work.
We are proud to offer a high standard of communication to all our customers, partners, tenants and service users. When you have any contact with us you can expect our colleagues to be friendly, polite and helpful.
We have set up a series of service standards that you can expect our colleagues to abide by.
If you write to us:
- One of our colleagues will take responsibility for your enquiry
- We will acknowledge your letter within seven working days from the date we receive it
- If we cannot reply in seven working days, we will let you know who is dealing with your enquiry and when you can expect a full response.
If you email us:
- One of our colleagues will take responsibility for your enquiry
- We will acknowledge your email within three working days
- If we cannot reply in three working days, we will let you know who is dealing with your enquiry and when you can expect a full response.
If you telephone us:
- During office hours, we will try to answer 90% of all calls within 20 seconds
- Upon answering, we will tell you which department you’ve called and the name of the person you’re speaking to
- If your call cannot be answered, voicemail facilities should be available for you to leave a message
- If you leave a message, we will return your call within two working days or at the time you specify.
If you visit our offices:
- Our reception areas will be clean and tidy, clearly signposted and easily accessible
- If you have an appointment we will try to see you on time.
If we visit you:
- We will be wearing photo identification or will have it available to show you
- When appropriate, we will make an appointment before visiting you
- We will contact you as soon as we can if we can’t keep an appointment.
Feedback about our service is important to us. Using feedback we can develop and improve our services. For more information about customer feedback please contact us.
In return for our high standard of customer service, we expect all customers to behave in an acceptable manner towards all our colleagues. Our colleagues have a right to take further action if a customer is abusive or threatening (involving external agencies where appropriate).
We want to provide a quality service to everyone who needs us. We have set out the standards of service that you can expect from us. Where we fail to meet our standards we will try to correct matters swiftly.
To underline our commitment we will consider paying compensation to anyone who suffers a quantifiable loss and/or experiences significant inconvenience as a result of a failure to deliver services, unless the failure is outside of our control.
If you have any outstanding debts (e.g. rent arrears, court costs or rechargeable repairs) any sum agreed in compensation will normally be used to offset that debt.
Compensation for personal injury is not covered by this procedure. Such claims will be investigated by our insurers and details should be submitted to the appropriate departmental manager. This compensation policy [PDF] does not cover claims for your own belongings unless they are damaged by us. You are recommended to arrange your own household contents insurance. If accidental damage is caused claims should be made on your insurance.
We will not pay compensation where the loss of a service or facility has been caused by a customer’s own acts, such as failing to report a repair or refusing access for our contractors to complete a repair.
Areas of compensation:
- Delays in completing repairs
- Home loss
- Loss of amenities
- Loss of a room
- Damage to interior decoration
- Damage by our contractors
- Failure to meet terms of a service contract
- Failure to keep appointments without notifying you
- Failure to reply to or acknowledge correspondence
- Failure to provide reasonable disabled adaptations.
Care and Support service standards
We created these service standards in partnership with service users. We will report our performance to you against these standards every year.
We follow all of our policies and procedures; these are part of a system called Quality Assurance Manuals. This ensures that all the team members are working to the same high standard.
We have regular internal audits, which are carried out by other colleagues and this makes sure that we are doing everything right.
We also have regular external audits by the British Standards Institute, and for our registered care services we are inspected by the Care Quality Commission.
The support teams have regular meetings to discuss the service they are providing and to discuss any issues that you may have raised. All team members attend a block induction before they begin work at the service. This ensures they have received the necessary training to start work (e.g. health and safety, first aid etc.). The team members will then receive further training as it is required.
If you're not happy with something you can tell the manager or contact us to use the 'we're listening' scheme.
We will keep you informed about events and services through our website, social media and our newsletter.
You will have opportunities to have your say or give us feedback by talking to your support team using the 'we're listening' leaflets and/or consultations through the newsletter.
We will gather feedback through an annual service user survey.
Our colleagues work to a set of core values.
We will ensure that you have all the information you need to know about your housing and support service in your personal copy of ‘Your guide.’
We will explain your rights and responsibilities of your occupancy in ‘Your guide.’
We will involve you in the review of ‘Your guide’, and note the results of the review in our project strategy each year.
We will ask you about how we should spend some of your service charge, for example what carpet or furniture to buy.
We will consult with you if we propose significant changes in your services, such as how much you pay or changes to your home.
Every year we’ll assess the environment of your home and set an action plan for improvement.
We will respond promptly to complaints of anti-social behaviour and agree an action plan with the complainant.
We will check that you are satisfied with how we have dealt with your complaint.
Maintenance and repairs
When you report a repair our Property Services team will give you a response time, which is:
- 24 hours for emergencies
- 6 days for urgent repairs
- 30 days for routine repairs.
We will recruit colleagues according to our values.
We will actively monitor the performance of colleagues through observation and supervision to ensure excellent practices.
Your personal information
What information do we collect and why do we collect it?
We collect information about you when we are asked to provide care and support services to you or as part of your ongoing care and support. This includes your personal characteristics and other sensitive information that is essential for the services we provide. We also collect information when you complete customer surveys or provide feedback.
How will we collect this information?
All information will be collected from you either personally or from information given to us when you enter into an agreement or contract with us. We will also collect information as part of your ongoing care and support, including support plan updates, reviews, from application forms and other customer feedback. Any information given about you as part of a referral from another organisation, Member of Parliament or councillor will normally be done with your consent and knowledge of why they are making a referral for our services.
How will we use it?
We use this information to make decisions about your personal care and support needs. This helps us to work with you to agree what you need and make sure that our services are safe and effective. We will also use the information to work with others who are involved in providing your care and support. Your information will be used for repairs and maintenance services where we are responsible for your home.
Who will we share it with?
We will not disclose any information that you provide in confidence to anyone else without your permission. However, we may be required to disclose your information by law, or where we have good reason to believe that failing to share the information would put someone at risk.
On occasions we will provide information to other organisations that we work with on specific projects or to deliver services. This is done under strict agreements regarding the security and confidentiality of all personal information.
Access to your information and correction
You have the right to view any information the organisation holds about you. We want to make sure that your personal information is accurate and up to date. You may ask us to correct or remove information you think is inaccurate.
How to contact us
Please contact our data protection officer if you have any questions in relation to this notice or the information we hold about you.