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The impact of resident inspections

The Resident Inspection team are resident volunteers that ‘inspect’ Hyde’s services to see how well they are working. They look at feedback from other residents and make suggestions for how things could improve for everyone. For more information go to the main inspection page.

Here are just some of the improvements that have been made to our services as a result of resident inspections:

Service inspected: Grounds maintenance and communal cleaning

The inspection found that less-frequent jobs like communal window cleaning, shampooing of carpets and deep cleans of bin stores were not being done regularly. It was agreed that contractors would provide timetables for this work and that we will monitor these.

Residents felt that their feedback about services was not listened to or acted on. It was agreed that we and our contractors both need to provide better ways for residents to provide feedback. We also need to respond within agreed timeframes and act to make things better.

Residents were sometimes unhappy with how contractors behave on site. It was agreed that we would write guidance for contractors and talk to them about their performance in regular contract meetings.

We also agreed to work to reduce the impact and cost of fly tipping, and to involve residents more in choosing contractors.

Service inspected: Complaints

The inspection found that both residents and staff were confused by Hyde’s two stage process. Where issues could be resolved quickly, we did not always record this as a complaint. Our staff were not always clear on who should keep residents informed. This caused confusion and further dissatisfaction. We agreed to review our complaints stages, give our staff better training and improve how we communicate about complaints. This includes keeping residents informed using the communication method they prefer.

We also agreed to involve residents better in how we manage complaints – including giving performance information to resident groups.

Service inspected: Customer Involvement Resident Engagement

The inspection found that Hyde does not always publish an annual report for residents. It was agreed that residents would be involved in producing the annual report again each year.

Residents said they were interested in seeing Hyde’s performance information so that they could hold Hyde to account and scrutinise services. Performance information will now be regularly published on the website.

Residents said that they were not always aware of, or did not understand, the opportunities they had to be involved. A communications plan was developed to improve this and to simplify the language used to describe resident engagement.

Residents felt that Hyde invested a lot in some areas, leaving other areas feeling ignored. Hyde agreed to review what local services are being delivered and to develop local plans to share this information better.

Service inspected: Resident Communications

Residents said that sometimes services were changed without a full explanation leaving them confused. Hyde agreed to improve this and do more promotion around new or changed services. A new e-newsletter was brought in to keep residents up to date with Hyde news.

Residents also said that Hyde’s tone could be confusing, inconsistent and sometimes unsympathetic. Hyde began work on a new ‘tone of voice’ project using language consultants to make this better. A customer strategy will also be brought in to improve the relationship with residents

Service inspected: Fire Safety

The inspection found that fire safety was not being done in the same way in all of Hyde’s sheltered homes. This included how mobility scooters were being stored. So, residents helped to develop new procedures, training was given to staff and new checks brought in to make sure vulnerable residents are kept safe.

Residents said that they were not sure what they were paying for in their service charges, which led to a lot of enquiries and complaints. Hyde improved the information on the website as a result.

Residents said that the way that Hyde carried out important fire testing was confusing and unsettling. Involved residents helped to review the letters used and created a new info sheet to help explain to residents what would happen.

Service inspected: Service charges

The inspection found that knowledge about service charges was inconsistent amongst Hyde staff, so more training and guidance was produced to help more staff understand.

Residents said that they did not receive information about their invoices in a timely way. So Hyde changed the way it processes invoices so that residents can get their packs in 28 days.

Residents were not aware what happens when a service does not happen; how refunds are made and when contractors attend to make up a missed appointment. This information was made clearer on the website and contractors were encouraged to keep residents informed.

Service inspected: Heating and hot water

The inspection found that the service was not good in some areas as contractors were overstretched. So, the working area for those contractors was reduced to enable them to provide a better service.

Residents also found that some contractors were not adhering to their service promises e.g. offering 2-hour time slots. As a result, all gas contracts are being reviewed in 2021 involving residents to make sure that residents get the services that suit them. 

Contractors were not always aware that some residents needed a more tailored service, for example because of a disability. This will also be an important part of the new service.

Service inspected: New lettings

Residents said that sign up wasn’t the right time for new residents to be given so much information about their tenancy. 6-week follow-up calls were reintroduced, and three quarters were completed in the first 3 months.

The inspection found that letters and documents were not clear or consistent, for example about whether residents would have carpets ready in their new property. All information was improved with resident input.

The inspection found that residents were relying on old, out of date handbooks, and were not looking at the website for up to date info about Hyde’s services. So, the resident handbook was refreshed and put online to keep it up to date.  

Service inspected: Antisocial behaviour (ASB)

Residents said that they were not clear on what ASB is and how to report it. Promotional information was improved, and letters rewritten, with resident input. The ASB team was restructured to create a central ASB team to deal with initial calls.

The inspection found that ASB cases were not being dealt with consistently, so more training was given to staff. This resulted in less cases being reported to the wrong team.

Residents were dissatisfied with the mediation service, so communication about the service was improved, resulting in a 100% increase in satisfaction.

Service inspected: Grounds maintenance and cleaning

Residents said that information about contractors was not easy to understand or find. The website was then updated with contractor contact details, specifications and schedules. Contact details were also added to communal noticeboards.

The inspection found that missed appointments were not being followed up on. So, a new process was created to manage missed appointments, ensuring that extra visits are carried out, or a refund given.

The inspection found that staff were not providing consistent information about estate services, so more training and guidance was given to frontline staff.