Housing Ombudsman Complaint Handling Code

Self-Assessment Form - Corby Borough Council

  Standard Yes No
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.
Yes  
  Does the policy have exclusions where a complaint will not be considered?   No
  Are these exclusions reasonable and fair to residents N/A  
2. Accessibility
  Are multiple accessibility routes available for residents to make a complaint? Yes  
  Is the complaints policy and procedure available online? Yes  
  Do we have a reasonable adjustments policy? Yes  
  Do we regularly advise residents about our complaints process?   No
3. Complaints team and process
 

Is there a complaint officer or equivalent in post?

There are nominated leads for each area of housing that are responsible for complaints being completed.

  No
  Does the complaint officer have autonomy to resolve complaints Yes  
  Does the complaint officer have authority to compel engagement from other departments to resolve disputes? Yes  
  If there is a third stage to the complaints procedure are residents involved in the decision making?   No
  Is any third stage optional for residents?   No
  Does the final stage response set out residents’ right to refer the matter to the Housing Ombudsman Service? Yes  
  Do we keep a record of complaint correspondence including correspondence from the resident? Yes  
 

At what stage are most complaints resolved?

For the period from 1 October 2019 to 31 March 2020 100% of complaints were resolved at stage 1.

   
4. Communication
  Are residents kept informed and updated during the complaints process? 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? Yes  
  Are all complaints acknowledged and logged within five days? Yes  
  Are residents advised of how to escalate at the end of each stage?   No
 

What proportion of complaints are resolved at stage one?

100% were resolved at this stage from April - September 2020

   
 

What proportion of complaints are resolved at stage two?

100% were resolved at this stage from Oct 2019 - Mar 2020

   
 

What proportion of complaint responses are sent within Code timescales?

April – September 2020

• Stage one                                      64%

Stage one (with extension)           100%

• Stage two                                   100%

Stage two (with extension)          100%

   
  Where timescales have been extended did we have good reason? Yes  
  Where timescales have been extended did we keep the resident informed? Yes  
 

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

At present we do not capture satisfaction with complaint resolutions, this is something that we shall introduce as we enter Unitary status as a part of North Northamptonshire Council.

   
5. Cooperation with Housing Ombudsman Service
  Were all requests for evidence responded to within 15 days? Yes  
  Where the timescale was extended did, we keep the Ombudsman informed? Yes  
6. Fairness in complaint handling
  Are residents able to complain via a representative throughout? Yes  
  If advice was given, was this accurate and easy to understand? Yes  
  How many cases did we refuse to escalate? None  
  Did we explain our decision to the resident? N/A  
7. Outcomes and remedies
  Where something has gone wrong are we taking appropriate steps to put things right? Yes  
8. Continuous learning and improvement
 

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

We use feedback to identify poor performance in our service provision. Where these are identified, we will actively review our processes to determine whether there is a more suitable method.

   
 

How do we share these lessons with:

a) residents?

b) the board/governing body?

c) In the Annual Report? -

Lessons and trends are identified and communicated through our Audit & Governance Committee – reports available on the CBC website.

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

What changes have we made?

• We have revised the dissatisfaction stage of our process and log all communication and attempts to contact the complainant with a goal of resolving within three days, If this is not the case the issue automatically escalates in to our complaints process.

• We have plans in place to review the complaints process as we evolve into a Unitary authority from the 1st April 2021.

• Include regular articles on how to make a complaint in our resident newsletter/publications

• Ask residents for their feedback as to whether their complaint has been resolved to their satisfaction