Edinburgh based Blackwood believes the future of innovative care lies in the power of the customer and has therefore created a wealth of new platforms for resident feedback in a bid to truly ensure its service users receive the best possible levels of care.
Eight methods of feedback are now available to Blackwood service users including customer satisfaction forms, telephone surveys, questionnaires, consultation events, regional scrutiny panel participation, registered tenant groups and tenant ambassador opportunities.
Fanchea Kelly, Chief Executive at Blackwood, wants to ensure Blackwood’s reputation is synonymous with providing first class care and believes the best way to achieve this is to truly understand what its customers require.
Fanchea said “At Blackwood we always strive to achieve the best results and the best provisions of care.
“At the heart of Blackwood are the people, and the feedback from them is what lets us know how we can improve and adapt our service.
“We’ve implemented some fantastic measures for our users to communicate their likes, dislikes and improvements for the organisation and we have continued to achieve solid results.
“We know from speaking to our residents that people appreciate having the chance to give their feedback and shaping the future of our services and that in itself makes it an extremely valuable exercise.”
Blackwood has acted on much of the feedback from its customers down the years and it appears to be paying off, with regular five star reports being received.
Fanchea continued: “So far this year at least five of our developments have received five star grades in, mostly unannounced, Care Inspectorate reports.
“We attribute a lot of this success to strong communication with our customers, tenants and residents – ensuring we have a clear picture of the care they require.
“Overall we are definitely pleased with the standard of care we currently provide – and want to make sure we can continue provide an even more enhanced level of care in the months and years to come.”
The main methods of feedback Blackwood now provides to its users are:
Customer Satisfaction Forms
Once a year Blackwood runs a survey that is sent to all tenants. In between these annual surveys there are also other times when Blackwood contacts its tenants to find out how satisfied they are with its services and how they can be improved.
Similar to Blackwood’s tenant surveys, but asks longer and more detailed questions, which offer the opportunity for more detailed answers. These questionnaires usually ask for feedback on existing services, but can also be used as a way for Blackwood to consult with its tenants on policies and future developments.
Blackwood also makes sure to phone tenants to see if they can complete surveys over the phone. This also helps to achieve quick and succinct responses for future actions and improvements. The phone calls usually take place during the day and last around 10 to 15 minutes.
Local Consultation Events
Blackwood consultation events give tenants the platform to discuss issues that are specific to their homes.
Regional Scrutiny Panel – Team Blackwood
Scrutiny Panels focus on making sure Blackwood’s performance measures up to its promises and helping set new service standards. Members can also be included in selection panels for employment of regional staff and selection of contractors carrying out services in the local areas. “Team Blackwood” comprises of the tenants and residents who use Blackwood’s services.
Registered Tenants’ Group
Blackwood keeps a register of tenants’ organisations as part of its duties under the Housing (Scotland) Act 2001. This gives names and contacts of all Registered Tenants Organisations on the web-site and at any local office. Registered Tenants’ Organisations are independent groups, set up by tenants to represent their interests in housing and related services.
Informal Tenants’ Group
Tenants may want to form a group to work together in support of their local area and to communicate with Blackwood and influence its services. Tenant’s groups can be involved in developing Blackwood’s services by responding to consultations and questionnaires, attending focus groups, special meetings, providing feedback to staff, representing the views of their members and developing action plans.
Blackwood is keen to encourage, train and equip local resident volunteers who want to do something locally. Services they might want to help with are agreed locally and could include welcoming new tenants, monitoring communal repairs, helping other tenants to understand their rent and benefit statements and distribute information.