by Melissa Clark

Wednesday, February 5th, 2014

Tenant Allan Blackwood

Care and housing specialist Blackwood has been given a ringing endorsement for its work, from the people who matter most – those who live in its homes.

Recognised as Scotland’s leading experts in adapting homes for people with complex or specialist needs, Blackwood has just completed its annual tenant survey.

Staff within the 41-year-old organisation were delighted with the headline finding which showed 92% of tenants would recommend Blackwood to their friends and family.

Fanchea Kelly, who took over as Chief Executive of Blackwood in September, said: “After a period of change we are now concentrating all of our attention on what matters most – doing whatever it takes to help people have control over their lives in a home that meets their needs.

“Everyone in Blackwood can be proud of that fact that 92% of our customers would recommend us to their loved ones. That is up considerably from 80% in 2012.

“There are many other positive findings in the survey results. However, we will never be complacent and our tenants have also let us know the areas in which they think we could do better. Their experience and feedback is what guides us in making improvements and this insight is really valuable to us.”

With 1600 properties Blackwood operates in 29 of Scotland’s 32 local authorities, more than any other care and housing provider. Every customer has the opportunity to fill in the survey annually and this year an impressive 30% did so, ensuring the findings are robust.

The results are more important than ever as the survey included questions to meet the reporting requirements of the new Social Housing Charter, an important public measure of how all social landlords are performing.

The survey revealed high satisfaction figures with Blackwood’s core services, with 87% of tenants saying they were very or fairly satisfied with the quality of their home and 85% with how they are kept informed of Blackwood’s services and decisions. Helpful staff were also rated highly by 89% of tenants, with 81% satisfied with the advice and information they were given.

Repairs and maintenance is Blackwood’s highest volume activity and 97% of tenants who had a repair carried out in the last year said it was easy to request – while 89% said they were satisfied overall with the repairs service (up from 87% in 2012).

Blackwood also saws increases in satisfaction with other important services, including rent arrears assistance and money and welfare rights advice. And 90% of tenants were satisfied with rent payment facilities.

A number of areas for improvement were also identified and Blackwood is now working on areas such as better garden maintenance and landscaping, and making it easier still for tenants to engage with it as a result of the feedback.

Lesley Carnegie, Business Improvement Manager at Blackwood who led the survey said: “The results have given us a fantastic insight into what our tenants think about the services we provide.”

“Not only has this provided us with valuable feedback on the areas that are working well for our tenants, importantly it also means we now know how we can do even better in future”.

The people who use Blackwood services are also at the heart of shaping its future. Customers include older people, those with physical or learning disabilities, mental health issues or sensory impairment. Their experiences and input steer policy and innovation through involvement at board level, in regional scrutiny panels, via the tenant surveys, and in the regular home visits.

 Issued on behalf of Blackwood by Holyrood PR. For more information contact 0131 561 2244 or info@holyroodpr.co.uk

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