Making a Difference
to people's lives

Service Improvement Report 23/24

In 2020 the Housing Ombudsman introduced a Complaint Handling Code to which all members were bound. The code set up a standard and best practices for all members. This code requires landlords to self-assess against the code and publish their assessment. This is for the benefit of all residents and other organisations. In April 2024, the Housing Ombudsman revised this code. Following the Social Housing Act 2023, a duty was put on the Ombudsman to monitor compliance with the new complaint handling code. The Ombudsman can now assess landlords’ overall approach to complaints handling. The aim of this makes sure that residents across the sector consistently receive a quality, responsive complaint handling service. The self-assessment together with this report must be submitted to the Ombudsman by 30 June 2024. Wrekin take pride in our services, and we know we don’t always get it right. Our complaint handling culture sees complaints as a chance to respond and work with the customer. By learning from these complaints, we improve our services, and minimise errors for the benefit of our tenants and our organisation. This report outlines our performance for 2023/24 and how we have used complaints to learn and make service improvements.

Des Hudson portrait
Governing body response – Des Hudson Chair of Wrekin Housing Group Board

My fellow Board members and myself have been proud to see that Wrekin continues to put customers at the heart of what we do. Our mission is to ‘Make a Difference to Peoples Lives’.

Our commitment to providing excellent services is built on being accountable to our customers and their communities. The quality and responsiveness of the services we provide, and approaching tasks with an openness that we will make mistakes are opportunities for self-reflection and improvement.

We have embraced the challenges set us by the Housing Ombudsman Service and will continue to strive to meet those expectations.

I fully endorse this Improvement Report and remain confident of our capacity, commitment and ability to successfully implement this plan over the coming months.

Des Hudson

Chair of the Board

Member responsible for complaints – Kevin Morgan Chair of Wrekin Housing Group Customer Committee

Kevin Morgan

I am committed to the delivery of quality high-quality services.

This Improvement Plan emphasises both Wrekin's, and my own, commitment to responding quickly if services fall below the standard expected. It also stresses the importance of putting these things right, and importantly, learning from those mistakes.

The Customer Committee are a key part of Wrekin’s guarantee that the customer voice is welcome and consistently heard. This Plan is just one part of our commitment to continue to shape services around our customers views.

I look forward to playing my part in its delivery.

Kevin Morgan
Chair of the Board
Customer Committee, Board Champion for Complaints and a Non-Executive Director of The Wrekin Housing Group

Self – assessment

The mandatory self-assessment covers nine areas, starting with a definition of a complaint and ending with scrutiny and oversight. Throughout the self-assessment, Wrekin have reviewed current practices, taken action to ensure compliance, evidenced compliance and challenged the policy and process. The evidence is detailed in the full-self assessment here.

Analysis of complaints/performance

Wrekin received 649 complaints throughout 2023/24. Out of these, 36 were escalated to stage two of the process and 3 went onto to stage three. After changes to the code, we now only have a two-stage process.

The timescales set out in the code for acknowledging and responding to complaints are five working days to acknowledge. We respond and resolve complaints within 10 working days.

We have focussed on improving how consistently we meet the 10 working days to resolve/respond to a complaint. This was an area previously identified as needing improvement. This has seen our performance improve to 91.8% where a resolution response is sent within 10 working days.

Most of our complaint issues come from our key services:

  • repairs
  • planned works
  • and housing services (including anti-social behaviour).

Our main service areas of complaints are:

Complaints areas graph 24

Our policy allows us to decline a complaint about a request for a service, or for a service we do not provide. In 2023/24 we did not decline any complaints. We expect that practices to continue.

Any communication that was not related to our services, like bin collections or grass cutting (not on our land), was responded to with details of organisations to contact.

To investigate a complaint, and to learn from it, we catalogue our complaints in the following ways:

Complaint reasons

Communication will continue to be a key focus for 2024/25 with a
customer care project. Further work is planned to make sure our values are consistently delivered by all staff and contractors.

Every quarter we report to our performance and learning to our Customer Committee; a formal Board of mainly tenants. These are included in our feedback report which we also publish on our website.

We have received no investigation findings from the Housing Ombudsman Service this year.


With the introduction of the 22 Tenant Satisfaction Measures (TSM), complaints form a part of these, including:

  • Number of complaints per 1,000 homes for stage one and two
  • Percentage of complaints handled within Housing Ombudsman Code of Complaint Handling timescales for stage one and two
  • Satisfaction with complaint handling.

We benchmark with a range of landlords through the Vantage Benchmarking Group. In most areas, we are performing above average. We recognise there is still more work to do to make sure we consistently meet timescales and build customer satisfaction. During 2024/25, we see the planned customer care project as a key step to improve services. We will also further assess and review customers’ experiences to continue to improve our complaint handling/responses.

Our wider Tenant Satisfaction Measure performance is available on our website with further context on our future plans.

Scrutiny and customer voice

We work with customers to shape and influence services on an ongoing basis. We do this through a variety of ways from surveys following receiving a service, to community engagement days.

In 2023/24, customers worked with us to review a number of services including major works, neighbourhoods and how we deal with damp and mould.

Alongside the TSM survey, we also send a survey to customers after their complaint has been resolved. We use this as an opportunity to learn from the user experience of this potentially complex and charged subject.

We intend to look at more ways to improve customer satisfaction with complaints handling. In 2024/25, this will be to make sure when several actions are promised, that they are delivered cohesively. We expect that working locally will be one way to improve on this.

Our Customer Committee is key Board Committee within Wrekin’s Governance structure. It has a tenant majority membership and its Chair – a tenant – is a Board Non-Executive Director.

The Committee plays a key role in proactively seeking out diverse customer “voices”, actively listening and feeding back when necessary. The Customer Committee make sure that our residents influence decision-making. Every quarter we publish feedback information on what our residents are saying (good or bad). Any reviews are actioned, with scrutiny requests made on Wrekin's services if necessary. You can read about our feedback and actions here.

Wrekin Voices are a group of over 500 customers who want to get more involved. We consult this group about policy reviews, asking for their feedback and / or other engagement opportunities.

For example, Wrekin's the Complaints Policy was due for review in 2023. This was sent to the Wrekin Voices for their feedback and formed part of the report for Customer Committee to approve the policy review.

During 2023/24 our Customer Committee have scrutinised customer voice and complaint performance at their meetings. Case studies on learning from complaints are presented along with a learning from complaints report twice per year.

Examples of how we have learnt from complaints include:

  • Improving communication about when lawns would be mowed at some schemes
  • We increased the number of quality checks carried out after a spike of complaints for one contractor
  • Introduced a new Lettings team to make it easier to apply for a new home. Customers told us in a range of ways, such as customer involvement and complaints, this would improve their experience
  • Spoke with individual staff members where we felt lessons could be learnt
  • Changed our process for follow on repairs to make sure this was more customer focussed
  • Increased the roofing contractors available to make sure repairs could be done more quickly
  • Improved our process where we make customer refunds to make this easier and timelier
  • Introduced coaching sessions with staff to improve communication.

Service improvements

Alongside the examples of improvements from individual complaints we have identified some wider trends and these will be areas of focus for 2024/25:

Customer care training programme
The main reasons for complaints is communication. We recognise this is an area for us to continue to improve upon. One of our values is to “communicate clearly” and we have more work planned so this is regularly reviewed. This has included coaching with individual teams and process changes. A customer care programme will run throughout 2024/25 and then continue with all our new employees to improve this further.

Locality working and plans
From customer feedback, including complaints, we have seen there is more to do so that customers have a clear point of contact and services work in a joined-up way. A locality way of working is being introduced so a team are assigned for each area covering repairs, housing and care. The housing teams are also working on locality plans with their communities to address key priorities.

Grounds maintenance
A change of approach has been undertaken through this year. From this a new rota will start in March 2024 and will be communicated with all staff and residents. Further enhancements will follow such as making this more tailored to areas, such as on the app.

Our Customer Committee review and report on wider learnings from complaints twice per year.

Enise's story: read Enise's story here


We want to ensure that our complaints process is easily accessible to residents and easy to use for staff. We have several different methods for contacting us to make a complaint:

  • By phone
  • By email
  • In person
  • In writing
  • Through our MyWrekin app
  • Through Wrekin’s social media pages.

To make certain we are adhering to the Equality Act 2010 we carry out Equality Impact Assessments (EIA) on all our customer policies and have done for several years.

We promote how to make a complaint in a number of ways, such as on our surveys, on social media and within our Retirement Living schemes, for example.


Wrekin see complaints as a chance to learn and improve our services. We also know that when things do go wrong it’s important that we respond quickly, effectively, and to understand the impact for customers. We continually look to improve our complaint handling and our services from feedback and learning from complaints.