e.g. school holidays, council tax, jobs, housing benefit - Advanced

Comments, compliments and complaints procedure

Complaints performance

The current complaints handling procedure was introduced by the Scottish Public Services Ombudsman (SPSO) and all Scottish Councils are now required to handle and report complaints in the same way and to publish the outcomes of complaints, trends and actions taken.

Complaints closed from 1 April 2016 to 31 March 2019

Annual total of complaints closed
Resource 2016/17 2017/18 2018/19
Community and Enterprise

256

209 245
Education 122 185 85
Finance and Corporate 86 213 169
Housing and Technical 388 249 250
Social Work 235 192 165
Totals 1087 1048 914

The number of complaints closed reduced by 4% between 2016/17 and 2017/18 and reduced by a further 13% between 2017/18 and 2018/19.

You Said, We Did

When you complain, we listen and act. 

Learning from complaints - The following examples and learning outcomes relate to complaints received between January and June 2019.

Community and Enterprise

A customer had complained that their bins were not being uplifted on a regular basis. Upon investigation the street concerned is a small cul-de-sac. The bin lorry crew have been reminded that the bins from the cul-de-sac must be included in their route. This will improve the service by ensuring the bins in this cul-de-sac are be collected routinely on the specified day.

A customer complained about information that was published on the Council website in relation to conservation areas. We checked the information on the Council website and found that it had not been updated following a change in legislation. This led to the information on that topic being amended and a wider review of the information on the planning webpages which resulted in details in several areas of the Council website being updated. The service will improve through ensuring accuracy of public information following legislation changes.


Education

A parent raised a complaint regarding their daughter not receiving extra art lessons during lunch break. This was due to staff not being available to monitor their daughter’s medical condition. To resolve the issue, the Head Teacher supervised the extra lessons.

A parent raised a complaint regarding their child’s attendance not being marked up correctly. An apology was provided to the parent for this and this in turn has led to improved quality assurance around pupil attendance recording, preventing a reoccurrence of this type of complaint.


Finance and Corporate  

A customer was unhappy with the service as they had received a council tax bill in their late husband's name. We ensured that all staff were briefed on the correct procedure for the updating of accounts following a death. Moving forward, we will ensure that correspondence is only issued to currently liable persons.

A customer felt that the length of time to obtain a refund was excessive. We explained the reason for the timescale and apologised for the delay which was caused by a high volume of requests. We will continue to try to ensure all timescales are met and that timescales are correctly communicated to customers.


Housing and Technical

A customer was unhappy that a letter had been sent to them in error in relation to abandonment of property. Staff have been reminded of the correct procedure to follow when sending out letters. We improve our service through continuing to monitor complaints through service/management reports and regular meetings of complaint groups.

A customer was unhappy that they had not received a response to emails that had been sent into the Housing office. Staff were reminded of customer care standards in terms of replying and acknowledging customer correspondence. We continue to monitor complaints through service/management reports and regular meetings of complaint groups


Social Work 

A customer was unhappy with a delay in receiving Aids and Adaptations equipment. An apology was given and contact was made with the supplier. A date for delivery of the equipment was agreed with the supplier and provided to the customer. Service will improve in the future through ensuring there is better communication between the customer and the Resource and between the Resource and the supplier ensuring that the customer is kept updated.
                
A customer was unhappy with communication and a delay in arranging a service. An apology given to the customer and arrangements were made to explore appropriate.