The item was introduced by Louise Church (Delivery Lead, Admissions). She explained that customer feedback was broken down into complaints, comments, questions and compliments. During 2021/22, 75 per cent of cases were closed within the appropriate service level agreement. This was ahead of the target of 70 per cent. A higher proportion of complaints were being made digitally. Louise Church said that 82 per cent of complaints were in relation to communication, physical environment issues, and protection of users. Louise Church said there had been an overall 21 per cent increase in complaints. Although the Communities directorate had seen a 12 per cent decrease, the Resources directorate had had a 56 per cent increase and People had had a 44 per cent increase. Better staff training and planning had been implemented to improve the timescales associated with dealing with complaints. Louise Church said there had also been an increase in the number of compliments that had been received. She said 69 per cent of the compliments received related to the People directorate.
Councillor Tromans said an increased number of complaints was a reflection that the Council was engaging better with people, rather than brushing their complaints to one side. He noted there were around 1,100 complaints that did not appear to have had an outcome yet, and asked for more information on this. It was agreed that a further analytical breakdown of complaints would be provided at a future meeting.
Councillor Gilbert said he had an issue with residents being referred to as customers, as they did not have a choice other than to use the Council’s services. He asked if the way the data was managed would be looked at. Louise Church said work was being done on making information more accessible to people.
Members noted the contents of the report.