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Scrutiny Action Group reviews

 

 

On this page you’ll find summaries of the latest reviews carried out by our Scrutiny Action Groups – what each review said and what we’re doing as a result:

  • Grounds Maintenance - You said, we did

    Completed: September - December 2019.

    Full report and and improvement suggestions given to Oversight Group: January 2020.


    You said: Our Estates Standard document needs to be simpler

      We did: We agree. We’ve listened and reduced the Estates Standard booklet significantly. The new, shorter version will be available on our website from June 2021.


    You said: Better advertisement of what our Estates Team do is needed

      We did: We now produce quarterly Hot Topics videos where we discuss the the seasonal priorities for the team and what customers can expect from us. These can be viewed here.


    You said: We need to increase the awareness of customers' responsibilities across our estates

      We did: In addition to our quarterly Hot Topics videos:

    We ran a 45-minute session at the 2020 Residents’ Conference talking to customers about the Estates team and what we do. You can watch this again here.
    We’ve redeveloped our mapping pages - Customers can find out all about their estate on our mapping system here.
    You can also access information from our contractors live on their microsite.
    We’ll be producing maps to display at community rooms across our sheltered housing sites and distribute these when community rooms re-open.
    We’re also looking into creating posters for community notice boards raising awareness of all our estates services.


    You said: A greater connection was needed between Curo and customers across our estates

      We did: Since the scrutiny activity took place the Estates team has grown significantly. The team has increased from 13 to 30 colleagues and information about the team will be included in the new digital Estates Standard booklet.


    You said: More feedback is needed when issues on estates are completed

      We did: We’re currently making around 700 weekly and monthly checks across our estates. We are looking at getting these communal checks and more communal and estates information onto MyCuro, our digital portal for customers. We don’t have a go-live date for this yet – when we do we’ll tell you about it.


    You said: You'd like more opportunities to walk around your estate, with colleagues from the estates team

      We did: COVID-19 restrictions have limited our progress on this to date. Members of our Estates Partnership Board have been out on their estates with colleagues (with COVID-19 safety measures in place). We’ll be advertising this opportunity on VoiceBox in June and July 2021. If you’re interested in a visit please get in touch at VoiceBox@curo-group.co.uk.


    You said: We need to bring back 'skip days' on our estates

      We did: Yes, we can bring these back. We have some planning to do and will advertise the details to targeted estates from July and August 2021.


    You said: We need to identify key individuals on estates to take the lead on estate issues

      We did: This work is being led by our Resident Engagement Team. We’ll be launching our Community Champions initiative – details will be added to our Get Involved web pages here.

    We also have our Estates Partnership Board for those customers who want to engage more regularly with the Estates team. We’d like one customer from every estate to join us and share their experiences and expectations, and to help us to improve the service.

    You can find out more about our Estates Partnership Board here.


     

  • Customer Accounts – You said, we did

    Completed: September - December 2020.

    Full report and improvement suggestions given to Oversight Group: January 2021.


    You said: Our paper statements need to be easily accessible for customers

      We did: Paper statements have now been switched to annually (from March 2021). This is more environmentally friendly and helps us save money so we can reinvest this back into providing services to customers.

    All new Curo tenants are registered on MyCuro at sign-up, with statements provided digitally by default. We’re also helping those customers who can access the internet to move onto MyCuro and access their statements digitally, saving customers money and reducing the impact on our environment.

    Reconciliation statements are sperate to paper rent statement so it is easy for us to make this change, and communication preferences will be used in future.

    Customers can still request a paper copy of their statements paper whenever needed.


    You said: Our rent statements need to be simpler for customers

      We did: We will be reviewing the layout of our statements to ensure they’re simple and easy to understand. This work will be carried out before the end of the 2021/22 financial year.

    In addition to the changes outlined above, we are also looking to switch to providing paper statements only if requested. More information will be provided about this towards the end of the year.


    You said: Customers would like to hear more from the Customer Accounts team

      We did: Key messages from the Customer Accounts team are included in Open, our customer newsletter. To get Open, ensure you have told us your email address.

    The team provide regular news, information and advice on social media and the Curo website. We are also reviewing how we can ensure inclusivity with residents who don’t use social media or the internet. This is an ongoing piece of work.

    The team will be exploring the possibility of a regular Money Matters newsletter. Work on this will start between July and September 2021.


    You said: We need to adjust the language used in our arrears letters

      We did: All the language flagged as problematic, for example ‘losing your home’, has been removed from our letters to customers.

    We’ll continue to review contact and letters as part of ongoing improvements.

    We are looking carefully at our ‘tone of voice’ (how we sound and the impression we give when we communicate) across Curo. This will help us to communicate more fairly and effectively with customers. The Customer Accounts team will be using the information from this work to ensure contact with customers is effective as possible and uses appropriate language.


    You said: Customers may respond better if they hear directly from those who've experienced the services on offer from the Customer Accounts team

      We did: The team have recently made some videos talking about how we can help our customers.

    We’ll be looking for customers who would like share their experiences as case studies and we will use their stories to raise awareness of our services with other customers.


    You said: We need to be available at different times of day and not just 9am - 5pm

      We did: Here in Customer Accounts we do work flexibly and some of our team are available later at night, although not regularly.

    We’ll be looking to introduce a later night once a week. We will need to consult with colleagues in the team about this, but this is something we can do.

  • Tenancy Compliance - You said, we did

    Completed: January – March 2021.

    Full report and improvement suggestions given to Oversight Group: April 2021.


    You said: Maybe a larger team is needed to assist with cases coming into the service

      We did: Resourcing (in particular the level of staffing) will now be reviewed monthly by the Tenancy Compliance leadership team. Further reviews will take place following monthly performance meetings.

    Resourcing is only part of the way to manage demand. We’re confident that with the changes made, we’ll continue to improve the customer experience.

    Our progress is tracked at monthly performance meetings and we continue to review randomly selected cases and undertake regular quality checks.


    You said: We need to review the tone and style of our risk assessments

      We did: We agree, and we will re-launch a new risk assessment, ensuring the right questions are asked at the right time and in the right way.

    We’ll tie this in with the ‘tone of voice’ work that’s happening across the organisation and we’ll consult customers as a part of reviewing our risk assessment. This will start in July 2021.


    You said: We need to reduce 'workflows' (computer inputting data) to enable colleagues to have more time with customers 

      We did: We agree. In response to this scrutiny activity and a review of complaints relating to the service, we’ve designed a new communication process. This will increase contact for victims in all cases to once every two weeks. This change will create more than 20,000 extra customer contact opportunities.

    We’ll be monitoring this weekly and monthly to ensure more customers are being contacted more frequently and that cases are being updated.

    This should also relieve pressure on the compliance co-ordinators because many of the calls they take are from customers asking for an update.


    You said: More/regular contact time is needed for victims of anti-social behaviour 

      We did: All the language flagged as problematic, for example ‘losing your home’, has been removed from our letters to customers.

    We’ll continue to review contact and letters as part of ongoing improvements.

    We are looking carefully at our ‘tone of voice’ (how we sound and the impression we give when we communicate) across Curo. This will help us to communicate more fairly and effectively with customers. The Customer Accounts team will be using the information from this work to ensure contact with customers is effective as possible and uses appropriate language.


    You said: A Curo police officer (to deal with issue in Curo homes only)

      We did: We agree this would be great and have looked into how this could work.

    Right now we can’t fund this without cutting another service, so the proposal is being held in a priority queue until funds allow it to happen.


    You said: A new engagement group for tenancy compliance should be created to look at closed anonymised cases, how they were handled and support the Compliance team with changes to come

      We did: We agree. A new group should be launched. This will form part of our consultation with residents around the housing white paper and will help to bring the team and customer closer together.

    We’ll be looking to promote the new group in June 2021 with the group active by September 2021.


    You said: We need to develop a victim support officer at Curo

      We did: We agree that our victim support offer needs further development, and that our offer should be more clearly stated.

    We’ll work with the new tenancy compliance engagement group (above) to make this happen and we’ll advertise the new offer to our customers.

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