We work hard to keep your home well-maintained and comfortable by delivering repairs and planned improvement works. Throughout 2019/20, we maintained 100% building safety management across the board – because our top priority is ensuring your home is the safe place it should be.
Improving our repairs service
In 2019, we made some changes to how our repairs team work, so that we can deliver a better service for you. Our planners are now each assigned to specific types of repair, so that they regularly work with the same operatives and can see every job through from start to finish. This helps planners and operatives to build more effective working relationships and ensures that the planner already has knowledge of the job if follow-on works are needed. By improving the communication within the team, we can now provide a more consistent and reliable service for residents.
We also implemented a new system with the ability to store photos against works orders for all our repairs. Our operatives now take ‘before’ and ‘after’ photos of each repair, which help us if we need to investigate any additional problems. They can be viewed by our Customer Service team too, making it easier for them to assist with customer queries about repairs that have been carried out.
These changes helped us to achieve an improved customer satisfaction level of 91% for our repairs service in 2019/20 (up from 88% in 2018/19).
Enhancing your home
Our improvement programme continued throughout 2019/20, with more than 500 homes benefiting from upgrades. We also maintained very high customer satisfaction levels for the work we carried out.
We upgraded a number of buildings to make them safer and more secure for residents. This included fitting new door entry systems at Colborne House and Gosford House, as well as at Abbey View and Munden View – our high-rise blocks – which also benefited from brand new CCTV systems.
We invested more than £300,000 in comprehensive fire safety measures for our blocks, going above and beyond the minimum regulations to make sure that our buildings are as resistant as possible to the spread of fire. In line with the Hackitt Review that was published following the tragedy at Grenfell Tower, we have also been working more closely with residents to revise our fire strategy so that it takes customers’ concerns into account. We have reviewed the guidance for each of our blocks individually for the new strategy, which will be launched in 2020.
We also made major improvements to our overall approach to health and safety during 2019/20, helping to ensure that our customers and our staff are kept safe. We appointed a dedicated Building Safety Manager, who is responsible for the safety of our homes, and we made changes to our protocols, management and culture around health and safety. As a result, we were awarded a four-star ‘Very Good’ rating by the British Safety Council in January 2020 – a significant improvement on our two-star ‘Adequate’ rating from the year before.
We provide a range of independent living options and we maintained excellent customer satisfaction levels for these homes throughout 2019/20.
We are continuing to carry out major upgrades to our independent living blocks, creating more welcoming spaces for residents to enjoy. Back in 2018/19, we refurbished Combewood and in 2019/20 it was the turn of Tree Bridge House. We spent £183,000 refurbishing the communal areas throughout the scheme, including new flooring, decoration, artwork and furniture in the lounge and corridors.
We even fitted a brand new communal kitchen, which has additional storage and more worktop space to allow larger group functions to be hosted. The furniture that is now in place combines good looks with function, making the communal spaces for our customers as stylish as they are comfortable.
The improvements have received great feedback, with customers saying they are proud to be a resident of Tree Bridge House. With its new warm and modern feeling, it has become a more attractive scheme for residents to invite friends and family to visit and to enjoy the large communal lounge overlooking the garden.