Right First Time Repairs Report


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2012 right first time repairs presented by larry shelbourne phyllis booth right first time repair definition a repair shall be considered as having been completed `right first time if the work is attended to and completed to the customer s satisfaction in accordance with the appointments made when the repair was originally reported 10/12/2012


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foreword right first time when a tenant reports a repair they want cobalt to do it quickly and do it right without having to have multiple visits and have to remain at home time after time for a repair to be completed right is normally defined as completed to the satisfaction of the tenant first time is defined as completed by the repairs contractor during the allocated appointment slot without the need to return a further time because the repair was inaccurately diagnosed and/or the contractor did not fix the problem where the job requires multiple trades who may follow on from each other then the work would still be considered completed right first time unless they had to call the operative back because the repair had not been completed correctly and further visits were required to finish the repair if the contractors fail to gain access to the property this will not be counted as a first visit pre-inspections are also excluded as a first visit panel members taking part in this scrutiny larry shelbourne chair phyllis booth vice chair debbie mottram secretary ethel sumner joanne maxwell natalie kennedy joyce cooper rhona parker janet heckingbottom edith hodge ronnie thomas joan johnson sophia muncaster beryl robinson.


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cobalt housing scrutiny panel review of right first time repairs 1 introduction the purpose of this report is to set out the progress made by the scrutiny panel members in relation to our scrutiny of the right first time repair process this report sets out the approach we took and the activities we carried out as part of our review our findings and recommendations 2 background how was this service identified the scrutiny panel s initial project was to be complaints however the head of complaints department explained that the complaints procedure was updating and was in a transition stage and requested that we revisit complaints at a later date after a discussion with our mentor linda levin the panel decided the next service review should be right first time repairs the panel felt right first time repairs are one of the most important services tenants receive from cobalt housing it was also explained to the panel that repairs have the largest budget so they wanted to make sure that both the tenant and cobalt housing were getting value for money the review the scrutiny panel s second started in march 2012 and the research phase was completed in july 2012 the approach we decided to adopt in scrutinising services is as follows fact finding reviewing service standards policies procedures and performance information costs quality and tenants views relating to the service challenge and compare examining what other landlords do and try to identify good practice recommendations analysing our findings and making recommendations to cobalt s board followed by asking cobalt housing to produce an action plan demonstrating.how our recommendations will be addressed monitor and evaluate once we have an action plan we will monitor progress and evaluate the outcomes for tenants in conducting our review we have received the scope of the review from linda levin the panels mentor please see appendix a received an initial presentation from cobalt about the right first time service and reviewed additional performance information we requested afterwards carried out a survey of tenants who have received the service the cobalt solutions staff and contractors involved in the repair process visited the office of contractors and met with senior managers 1|p age


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examined good practices through the use of benchmark data and website reviews including a visit to wirral partnership homes job shadowed contractors we sat with cobalt solutions staff as they dealt with live calls and received training on orchard 3 details of the activities we carried out document review members requested and reviewed information on the following for full report please see appendix b detailed breakdown of performance information in relation to a call handling numbers as well as percentages required also do you measure percentage and number of calls where enquiries are resolved at the first point of call i.e by cobalt solutions b repairs performance e.g right first time percentage and number of repairs completed within target timescales i.e for emergency urgent and routine repairs number and percentage of repairs appointments made and kept what arrangements are in place for call queuing how long do callers wait from connecting to speaking to a member of cobalt solutions copy of questionnaire/survey used to test satisfaction with cobalt solutions list of comments made by dissatisfied tenants via the telephone survey which is carried out by the tenant auditors also what happens with these results for the last six months from the satisfaction survey that the tenant auditors carry out also we understand that the tenant auditors speak to about 90 to 100 tenants each month how many tenants contact cobalt by telephone per month a list of formal complaints giving details about the nature of the complaints for repairs in the last six months a copy of the latest status survey report is a different level of repairs service offered if tenants are `vulnerable e.g are repairs done more quickly what arrangements are in place to ensure that vulnerable people can access the repairs service e.g people with hearing or visual impairment people with mental health or physical disabilities copies of the scripts used by cobalt solutions staff for repairs copy of the `toolbox used by staff to sort out help for vulnerable tenants 2|p age


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results from surveys survey of tenants who received the service a total of 150 tenants who had received repairs eligible for first time repairs during may 2012 were contacted 42 tenants completed the questionnaire full results please see appendix c summary of results 93 of respondents said that the repair was completed in the timescale that they were 90 of respondents said that their repair was completed right first time 93 of respondents were satisfied with the way that cobalt deals with told repairs and maintenance 7 respondents were dissatisfied with the way that cobalt deals with repairs and maintenance 9 of respondents were dissatisfied with the standard of customer care that they received from cobalt 11 of telephone numbers were incorrect these results were compared against cobalt s own survey for this service which was conducted from april 2010 to march 2011 the results were compatible job shadowing cobalt solutions members of the scrutiny panel sat alongside cobalt solutions operatives during the 26th and 27th april 2012 to experience how jobs are logged they found that solutions are working very well and were impressed with both the system and more particularly solutions staff cobalt housing and its staff should be congratulated on a job well done all of the staff without exception were very helpful and friendly during the time our panel members spent there and we would like to express our appreciation for their co-operation and assistance they must however always seek to maintain their standards and not become complacent at all times seeking improvement for full report please see appendix d contractors operatives members of the scrutiny panel accompanied jc and liberty maintenance operatives in their vans for the day to observe how they approached the repairs and how they handled the tenants the panel members reported that the operatives were very polite and showed their id on all occasions 3|p age


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the panel members were impressed how candid and open the operatives were one of the operatives was late picking a panel member up and after apologising he explained that he had been to a job earlier only to find the cobalt housing surveyor had passed on the wrong specification for the job both jc construction and liberty operatives complained that this was a common occurrence other areas for concern time slots too tight for contactors to complete work too many tenants requesting morning appointments insist on standardisation during procurement e.g the operative showed the panel member doors next to each other fitted at the same time but two totally different doors interior doors old and beyond repair and a possible fire risk many of cobalt housing interior doors are over 30 years old made of hard board or ply wood if a fire occurred on the ground floor this type of door would not give the thirty minute protection new build legislation requires interviews with contractors members of the scrutiny panel visited the offices of smiths jc consultation and liberty smiths if an emergency job is needed a member of voids team will attend average of 10 jobs per day per operative more face to face meeting with cobalt staff would help management and staff would be happy to sit on any meetings with cobalt housing management and staff smith s have key cutting equipment on site for quick response if tenant is locked out jc construction telephone numbers need to be updated by cobalt cobalt to contact jc by phone if jobs are put on after 4.00pm if the job is for the next morning no lone worker information had gone missing due to it change over any access information to be put on the job sheets more information about the job would help get the job done right first time solutions cobalt surveyors not sending the right information e.g eight meters of skirting board should read eight meters of 3 or 4 skirting boards back door lock should read house back door or back gate liberty gas up to £2,000 worth of stock kept on vans 24 hour call out for emergency s with a promise to be there within 4 hours the plumbers joiners etc will work till 6-30pm to complete job 70 of job surveys returned by tenant orchard is working well 4|p age


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2 hour slots for jobs will have a part within 48 hours if they haven t got it on site 90 plus for recycle of waste 100 on gas services set-up excellent very impressed the panel members felt that the hospitality and willingness of all the contractors to open up their files to the panel members was commendable our main findings strengths solutions are working very well and panel members were impressed with both the system and more particularly solutions staff cobalt housing and its staff should be congratulated on a job well done all of the staff without exception were very helpful and friendly during the time our panel members spent there and we would like to express our appreciation for their co-operation and assistance they must however always seek to maintain their standards and not become complacent at all times seeking improvement the number of right first time fixes of ninety per cent is an impressive figure liberty gas one of cobalt housing important contractors are a confident well motivated outfit all the panel members were very impressed areas for improvement communication between contractors and their workmen workmen not knowing what job they were attending a property for and possibly between some members of cobalt surveyors and contractors/tenants could possibly be improved and perhaps a better system could be implemented to ensure everyone concerned knows what is to happen and when observations panel members had concerns regarding the ability of smaller contractors to deal with an increased workload due to the expected severe winter we would ask cobalt housing to look at ways to provide support for smaller contractors e.g administration of orchard the panel feel cobalt housing should hold a seminar for all its contractors to promote more joint working between contractors and to look at evidence of good practice between contractors and the different standards between contractors e.g volume of jobs per day slots to do the job varies 5|p age


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our recommendations solutions a young child rang solutions on behalf of his mother who could not speak english regarding housing benefit the operative through the child informed the tenant that it had been paid and informed the child they should contact the housing benefit regarding the arrears we would recommend this type of tenant should have been referred for a home visit or asked to come into the office to explain about housing benefit this may stop the tenant going into arrears panel members had concerns regarding the amount of data that all cobalt housing staff are able to access also the amount of time it is kept on record when the tenant is no longer a customer of cobalt housing we would recommend that data should not be kept longer than is necessary for the purposes for which it is processed all tenants should be notified of their right of access to his or her personal data contractors expressed a wish to visit cobalt solutions to meet personnel and put a name to the face contractors were not being informed about lone working issues and vulnerable households repairs cobalt housing surveyors pass on to the contractors what is exactly required to do the job although we have no statistical data collated to show how much of a problem this is we would recommend that the surveyors are aware of the criticism as in our previous report there are still a number of tenants who have not updated their details we recommend that cobalt take steps to resolve this as in our previous report a quarter of the tenants contacted said that the contractor did not present them with their identification badge we recommend that cobalt housing send a strongly worded letter to remind contractors they must show ids at all times the number of right first time repairs of ninety per cent is an impressive figure we recommend cobalt housing continue to monitor the number of first time fixes as part of cobalt s key performance indicators identifying opportunities for further improvement also continue to monitor the level of satisfaction with first time repairs during procurement insist on all materials to be universal to look at an internal door programme with importance given to the kitchen and bedroom doors 6|p age


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action plan as agreed with the board we require cobalt housing to produce a smart action plan setting out how and when they will implement our recommendations we will monitor progress against this action plan and monitor outcomes for tenants through the feedback we receive from customers we will require cobalt to produce an action plan by the time of our monthly meeting in december so that we can commence monitoring we would expect all our recommendations to be thoroughly considered by officers and completed within six months after the board s approval if this is not practical to complete all the recommendations within 6 months then officers need to confirm the reasons why they cannot be completed and when they will be completed in writing to the chair or verbally at the panel s monthly meeting we require monthly updates from officers regarding progress on implementing our recommendations the updates should be initially in writing to the chair and followed up verbally at the panel s monthly meeting concluding remarks and learning points it is the panels aim to build on the good relationship they have forged with cobalt housing staff in that way with a shared responsibility for decisions made together we can represent the best interests of all tenants and cobalt housing we would like to thank all cobalt housing property service officers and their contractors smiths liberty and jc construction for the support they provided and their co-operation throughout our review we will be writing to everyone who worked with us including tenants we interviewed during the review to thank them for their involvement and co-operation and to let them know the action cobalt housing will be taking to further improve the repair service we will send the letters immediately after the board meeting we feel that it is important to let people know how their involvement has made a difference as well as thanking them for their input we would also like to thank the board and senior management team for their continuing support the input and support from the resident s involvement team and in particular jackie hart has been very much appreciated finally the chair and vice chair of the panel would like to thank all panel members for their hard work and dedication in carrying out the review and producing this report 7|p age


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appendix a cobalt tenant scrutiny panel repairs review project plan version 1 8th march 2012 8|p age


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stages and tasks stage 1 fact finding share this project plan with senior managers and board members document review ­ policies performance satisfaction information and complaints action target date comments/progress larry and ethel to submit by email jackie to pull information together ethel sophia and beryl to review documents and produce list of strengths weaknesses and further questions jackie to liaise with cobalt solutions to produce time slots all panel members ­ two at a time 19th march 2012 completed 15th march 2012 completed 13th april 2012 completed observation in cobalt solutions ­ call listening observing call handling and reviewing quality checks of call handling 15th march 2012 13th april 2012 ­this is now complete but 4 more panel members would like to sit with the c/s staff on a monday morning this is to be arranged 9th march 2012 carry out staff survey ­ cobalt solutions team ­ now looking at right first time repairs so this will be done on this survey once confirmed with the scrutiny panel linda to produce survey form jackie to pass survey forms on to cobalt solutions team repairs staff larry and by 23rd march 2012 sophia to pass on surveys to liberty by 23rd march 2012 9|p age


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sophia to request contractors hand the survey out to their operatives forms to be returned to jackie linda and panel to analyse returned surveys whole panel by 5th april 2012 13th april 2012 the above has been completed only one survey was returned review information collected and agree scope of the review may 2012 business meeting ­ this is now confirmed as being right first time repair by end of may 2012 meeting to be arranged ­ would be good to try to set a date now meet with senior managers and board members to inform them of the scope of the review carry out a tenant survey larry and ethel telephone surveys to be commence on friday 25th may ask ron for definition of right first time repair need a list of jobs that have been completed as right first time repair phyllis rhona edie janet by 20th june 2012 jackie to speak to ron to provide this 10 page


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shadow contractors staff ronnie debbie larry w/c 11th june ­jc and liberty have agreed to this but would like 1 weeks notice jackie to speak to manager of each firm to confirm please take notes when shadowing ­ good points and any concerns/ideas for improvements stage 2 compare and challenge draw up list of questions and staff/contractor meetings programme this will now be done on the job shadowing exercise 22nd june 2012 to put on agenda for the next meeting to discuss are you happy with the information from cobalt how do you complete a job first time draw up a briefing note for the staff and contractors personnel who will be involved in the meeting identify good practice sites and carry out visits to top performing landlords larry and ethel in consultation with the rest of the panel phyllis janet sophia 22nd june 2012 a quick brief of what area you are looking at by 29th june 2012 ­ going to visit the wirral and may-be invite one vision thursdays or fridays ­ to be arranged during week of 25th june 2012 one more volunteer needed this is a duplication carry out meetings with staff and contractors joanna edie debbie beryl phyllis rhona stage 3 recommendations produce draft report present report to head of service for repairs and then to senior management panel larry ethel 6th july 2012 week beginning 9th july 2012 11 page



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