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Ensuring residents' views and needs drive everything we do

Our vision for resident involvement is to offer a wide range of inclusive opportunities that suit the needs of all our residents and result in a broad range of them being able to influence the services they receive from West Kent. We believe by working in partnership with our residents we can help improve the lives and communities of those involved.

If you would like to be involved in influencing and decision making, or to join the following groups, to help us improve our services to you and your community please call 01732 749420 or email getinvolved@wkha.org.uk 

You can also follow us on Twitter.

  • Consultations

    Our resident involvement team use a range of methods to consult and are continually seeking the views and opinions of our residents on all the services we provide. The team ensure that consultation time is built into all our planning processes. We publish the results of our consultations on this website.

  • Mystery shopping

    We run mystery shops through some of our services. We have several trained residents conducting the shops and we publish the results on this website.

  • Resident auditors

    Residents audit West Kent's activities several times a year.  Any resident with a good level of IT skills can receive training to become an auditor. Training takes one day and the audit itself occurs over two to three working days.

    If you are interested in this opportunity please get in touch using the details above.

  • Regular resident consultation groups

    We support regular groups for older residents or those who have a disability. The Emerald Forum brings together people who live in one of West Kent’s Emerald properties, which are designed for the over-55s, while Ability gives a voice to people with a disability. They meet roughly every quarter, sometimes hearing from an external speaker, and they discuss issues that affect their particular group. They then make recommendations about how we might do things differently in future to make sure we deliver services fairly and inclusively to the whole population.

Recent consultation outcomes 

Here is a summary of the most recent consultations residents have helped us with. The full reports are available on request from the Insight team at getinvolved@wkha.org.uk 

  • Repairs

    We contacted all West Kent customers with email about changes to our repairs service, including the proposed response time for different types of repairs. This led to our new Maintaining Your Home service standard.

    There were 134 responses and 24 recommendations. Of these recommendations, two of the most popular were that security issues should be higher and more clarity was needed on where responsibility for wear and tear damage would fall. These suggestions were incorporated into the new repairs service, which makes it clear that security repairs should be treated as an urgent repair and that tenants are not responsible for fair wear and tear. 

     

  • Alerts

    Residents can have an alert on their West Kent record (currently called a 'flag'), which can be seen by all members of West Kent staff and contractors. These alerts help us tailor our services to take into account residents’ vulnerabilities or medical needs.

    We asked 723 tenants with alerts on their records about this service and received 115 responses, a return of 16%. Key findings were that many respondents felt they didn’t know enough about the status of their alert and that dementia was a key health issue we should be recording. There were 22 other recommendations, including allowing more information to be recorded alongside flags. The results from the survey and from later reflections from our Ability and Emerald groups will be used to inform West Kent’s future policy and procedure on alerts.

  • Letters

    The review was suggested by the communications team as a means of inspecting the volume and quality of West Kent’s individual written communications to customers. In early 2016, 16 tenants collected 63 letters (excluding routine repairs appointment letters) received by them from West Kent during a four month period. Some didn’t receive any.

    We concluded that we don't seem to issue an unnecessary volume of letters and participants agreed that email was becoming more often their channel of choice. In most cases the message we were trying to give in our letters was understood but there were some minor issues with presentation, grammar and plain English. 

    Following this review and our refresh of the West Kent branding, which includes our tone of voice, we have launched a new guide for staff on written communications and provided plain English training that all staff can access.