29 March 2022

InFocus review our performance

Our customer scrutiny group, InFocus, have assessed our performance over the last 12 months against the Together with Tenants charter.
customers talking

Together with Tenants is an important initiative launched to the housing sector in October 2020 aimed at strengthening the relationship between resident and landlord.  At the centre of the Together with Tenants initiative is a six-point charter covering areas such as influence and accountability, communication, and relationships.

In October 2020, we signed up as an adopter of Together with Tenants.  This means that we commit to adopt the charter and to publicly report our progress against the charter.  You can find out more about the Together with Tenants initiative on our website.

In January 2022, the LiveWest scrutiny group, InFocus, carried out a review and assessed our performance over the last 12 months against the Together with Tenants charter.  You can find out more about engagement opportunities at LiveWest on out get involved page. 

Here are the findings from the review carried out by InFocus members:

Charter commitment – Relationships:

Performance: Good

Performing at: a similar level

Good work has been made in this area to build relationships based on openness, honesty, and transparency. InFocus would like to see more evidence of how LiveWest is working to address and remove stigma within social housing. They would also like more updates given to customers on the plans around culture and behaviours.

Charter commitment – Communication:

Performance: Acceptable

Performing at: a similar level

It is noted that Covid-19 related communications have provided clear information to customers around the services being delivered during the pandemic. InFocus would like to see communication between LiveWest teams improved to reduce the need for customers to request an update on an issue. InFocus welcome the proposed improvements to the customer portal and our website.

Charter commitment – Voice and Influence:

Performance: Good

Performing at: a similar level

It is pleasing to see the variety of opportunities offered to customers to get involved and the use of digital methods to reach as many customers as possible. Over 2,000 customers have participated in meetings, focus groups, consultations, and surveys during 2021. InFocus note the importance of offering a variety of engagement opportunities, being creative in how engagement activities are publicised and delivered, and showing how customer feedback has influenced the way services are delivered.

Charter commitment – Accountability:

Performance: Good

Performing at: a similar level

InFocus has carried out several scrutiny reviews during 2021. These reviews concluded with a series of recommendations being given to the business. Of those recommendations, over 90% have been accepted and are in the process of being implemented. InFocus is pleased with the level of accountability and ownership given to them to identify an area to review. 

Charter commitment – Quality:

Performance: Good

Performing at: a similar level

InFocus is pleased to see a continued focus on delivering a high-quality repairs and maintenance service, including assurance that gas safety checks, fire risk assessments and other compliance-related activities are being completed on time. It is recommended that there is a renewed focus on investigating all damp and mould concerns that are raised by customers. It is important that any concern related to heating and warmth in the home is quickly investigated and appropriate advice and repairs are arranged.

Charter commitment – When things go wrong:

Performance: Acceptable

Performing at: a similar level

InFocus recognise the importance of dealing with issues quickly and effectively to prevent them from escalating to a complaint. They note the work undertaken over the last 12 months to improve complaint handling and are pleased to see customer satisfaction with complaint handling increasing. However they would like to see more evidence of how LiveWest is learning from complaints and using all customer feedback to improve the way services are delivered. Consideration needs to be given to ensuring that customers raise all issues with LiveWest and can trust that LiveWest will listen to their concerns and take action to put things right.

Overall summary from InFocus:

"We acknowledge that significant investment and improvements have been made including the introduction of a new computer system, the focus on colleague behaviours and inclusion and diversity and all the other initiatives that have been introduced over the past 12 months.  This has been particularly impressive given the operating environment over the last 12 months.   

"However, notwithstanding this, the standard of both internal and external communication is still a concern for the group, and we believe that improving communication will no doubt increase gradings against all the commitments.

"We are looking forward to seeing what can be achieved in 2022."

Sharon Cresswell, our Customer Experience Manager, said: “Asking customers to review our progress against the Together with Tenants charter allows us to develop action plans to improve our performance in areas that matter most to customers. Our plans for 2022 will include improving internal and external communication and improving complaint handling and learning from customer feedback.  

"We will provide regular updates on our work around culture and behaviours, improvements made to the customer portal and website, and we will review how concerns relating to damp, mould, heating, and warmth are investigated and resolved.

"I would like to take this opportunity to thank InFocus for their continued support and collaboration in scrutinising our performance and making recommendations.”

 

You can find out more about Together with Tenants on our Get involved page.

Our You said, we did page highlights the work we are doing following customer feedback.

 

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