March 2024: Extra Care Court Newsletter

 The March 2024 edition of the Extra Care Court Newsletter will cover the following topics: 

  • We’d love to hear from you!

  • Care Survey 2023 update

  • Spring into action: Get your finances in shapes!

  • Compliments and Complaints Performance update: October-December 2023 - Quarter Three

  • Celebrating our employees

  • 21 Talks: Listen to our podcast

  • Join the Conversation: Leave Your Feedback on Trustpilot

  • Pendants – testing procedures

  • We’d love to hear from you!

    Are you celebrating a 60th birthday or 60th anniversary in 2024?  
    If so, we want to hear from you! Please email with some brief information including your name(s), date of your birthday / anniversary, a photo to accompany your story with a line about how long you’ve lived at your scheme.

    Enter our photography competition!  

    We’re asking you to share what life at Housing 21 looks like through your camera lens and want you to send us your favourite photo that you’ve taken. It could be an image capturing community spirit, your favourite pet or beautiful gardens; it's really up to you!

    Each month we will showcase entries on our Housing 21 Facebook page, tagging in the Facebook pages of schemes where you’ve got involved. In August, we will then hold a public vote for the best Retirement Living and Extra Care photo; will it be your scheme that wins?!  

    Photos can be submitted by emailing Housing 21's Communications Team at,  please make sure you have read the rules of entry before submitting. To read the rules of entry, please speak to your scheme manager who can make this available to you.


    If you are unable to email us, please speak to your scheme manager who will be able to contact us on your behalf. 

  • Care Survey 2023 update

    Once again, a big thank you to the Extra Care residents who took part in our annual Care Survey.

    We have now received the results, and can announce that overall, 94 percent of residents who receive care from Housing 21 are satisfied with our care service.

    We expect to share more detailed results, including individual scheme-level reports later this month (March) with scheme managers. If you would like to see the results for your scheme, please get in touch with your scheme manager.


  • Spring into action: Get your finances in shape!

    We want to help you minimise costs as much as possible and make sure you are getting the most for your money, so here are a few top tips to help manage your expenses!

    • Check what tariff you are on - If you’re claiming Pension Credit or some other benefits, you may be able to get a cheaper broadband or phone package. Please check this with your provider and if you aren’t sure, speak to your local manager.


    • Check your bank’s interest rates - although it may feel overwhelming to switch accounts or banks, doing this could generate a better return on your money!


    • Check your direct debits - are they right or are there subscriptions you’re paying for that you could cancel? If you don’t need it, cancel it!


    • Make sure you reclaim your credit - from your energy supplier. Before claiming back any money, think about whether you're likely to have higher energy bills in the months If this isn’t the case, check your account and reclaim your credit balance!


    • Why not try and budget your finances for the month? - Planning where your money is being spent can help you see where you’re spending money that you can save, use the Money Helper website where there is support with budgeting and a budget planner you can use.
    • Check whether you’re on the best deal for your insurance and utilities - It’s easy to sign up for a deal and never think to change it, but you could save money by shopping around. Look at your insurance policies, utility companies, and telephone and broadband providers. You can call around other companies to get quotes or use a price comparison website – visit for more information.


    There are lots of benefits and financial support out there, the Age UK website helps explain what each benefit is for and who is eligible to claim it and advises you where you need to go to make an application. There is also guidance and support with paying your bills, boosting your income and support with paying for care and bereavement. Go to the Age UK website

    We've also got a Cost of Living and a Universal Credit tool on the external Housing 21 website. Links for this can be found under 'financial support' in the resident information section of the website.

    To find out more about the different benefits that can be claimed or general support with your finances, please speak to your local manager.

  • Compliments and Complaints Performance update: October-December 2023 - Quarter Three

    We received 32 formal complaints this period (Retirement Living 12 and Extra Care 20). This compared to 25 for the same period in the previous financial year. Our local managers are working hard to try to resolve as many complaints informally as possible, meaning we resolve your issues as soon as we can. We received 154 informal complaints of which approximately 20 percent (32) progressed to stage one and five complaints progressed to stage two during the quarter. In the year to date

    25 percent of all formal stage one complaints received have been escalated to stage two by the complainant.  


    Our performance  

    Our performance this quarter against the response targets which are set within the Housing Ombudsman Complaints Handling Code are as follows:  

    • Acknowledgement of stage one formal complaints within five working days  
    • We achieved 97 percent (one outside timescale) 
    • Response to stage one formal complaints within 10 working days  
    • We achieved 84 percent (five outside timescale) 
    • Response to stage two formal complaints within 20 working days  
    • We achieved 100 percent (and one in progress) 

    Note: at time of this article one formal complaint was still in progress and within target timescale for response. Performance is reported on those complaints responded to.

    The types of complaints which are logged as ‘Other’ include: failure of service (four) and legal issues (one). 


    Learning from formal complaints  

    Complaints are important to us, because if we get something wrong there may be changes, we need to make to improve our services. We call these ‘lessons learnt.’   


    Learning from complaints is mainly related to local learning at schemes. A common theme no matter what the subject of the complaint is a failure to follow policy and procedure, such as anti-social behaviour, lettings or medication, which we are working to improve. 


    Some examples of local learning are: 


    • Ensuring all outstanding repairs are actioned and implementing an annual tree survey and maintenance schedule in consultation with residents
    • Training on the handling of personal data 
    • Reviewing the contract for catering provision on quality standards and food choices 
    • Putting a new pest control contract in place 
    • Review with technical team to resolve ongoing heating issues 
    • Review of care plan and associated training on delivery of person-centred care delivery, time keeping and completion of documentation 
    • Improved signage and adjustments relating to the installation of a new automatic door 
    • Training for local team to ensure any issues relating to rent arrears are dealt with promptly, and ensuring frequent rent statements are produced and shared 
    • Meeting with residents and technical managers to develop a longer terms solution for on-going heating issues 
    • Improved contractor arrangements when responding to faults with boilers 
    • Change of contractor to deal with automatic doors following poor service level 
    • Adjustment to automatic doors timers and more robust checks on checking visitors to the scheme 
    • Additional checks to be carried out until the installation of the new digital call system  
    • Ensuring communications, such as consultation on service charges are sent to the nominated advocate 
    • Local team to be retrained in leasehold resales information and guidance to improve customer experience. 

    We continue to review how we learn from our formal complaints and make sure changes are actioned and recorded so we can see how services are improved. We are implementing changes through our internal complaints' groups, and a resident led complaints group. By way of example, as reported in the Housing Ombudsman Update below, we are looking to develop a new Housing 21 unacceptable behaviour policy to be adopted across the business. 

    Informal complaints  


    We dealt with 153 informal complaints with 77 percent being responded to within 10 working days. The main areas of complaint are repairs (22 percent), housing issues (19 percent), care (18 percent), and employees (17 percent). The more complaints we can handle informally helps our residents get quick resolutions to their concerns.  


    Further details about our complaints policy and procedure can be found via our website at: 



    We always welcome and value compliments about our employees and services. We have received a total of 247 compliments this quarter. 72 percent were about employees/teams, 27 percent about services, and one percent about our contractors.  

    Housing Ombudsman Update  

    The Housing Ombudsman looks at complaints from residents from different types of housing providers if residents remain unhappy with the response from their landlord. Its work is funded by annual landlord subscription fees. Investigating these complaints is a free, independent, and impartial service for residents about their housing related complaints. 

    We received one case request during this period and two determinations. Case requests can take many months for the Housing Ombudsman to process and so determinations can often relate to a previous financial year. Our target is zero at fault cases.  

    Regretfully, of the two determinations received one was found at fault (service failure). The issues related to ASB (Anti-Social Behaviour) handling (in particular the issue of an ASB warning letter) and associated complaint handling. We apologised for the wrongful issue of the letter and conducted follow up training with the local team. A recommendation was made for Housing 21 to consider implementing a separate resident unreasonable behaviour policy, which is currently being developed alongside our antisocial behaviour policy review. Residents will be involved through our resident engagement groups. 

    The Housing Ombudsman Service can be contacted at any point during the complaints process for advice and guidance using the following contact details:   


  • Celebrating our employees

    Have you had a positive experience with one of our employees?   

    Perhaps they have supported you with claiming benefits, or generally gone above and beyond to support you?  

    If so, we would love to hear from you and to share your story to make sure our people are recognised for Making a Difference (MAD).  

    Please send your stories to the Make a Difference Team 

  • 21 Talks: Listen to our podcast!

    Have you tuned in to 21 Talks? 21 Talks is our podcast showing that at every age, everyone has important stories to tell and opinions to share.

    We have episodes on the Extra Care Academy, inclusivity and getting to grips with tech, and every episode features our incredible Housing 21 employees and residents!

    Have you listened to our latest episode on activities to positively impact your wellbeing? 

    Stream now on Spotify, Apple Podcasts or on our website. 

  • Join the Conversation: Leave Your Feedback on Trustpilot

    We're committed to ensuring your satisfaction and experiences guide our every decision. Share your thoughts with us on Trustpilot, the independent review platform. 

    You can help with this by leaving a review on the Trustpilot website to let people know about your experience.   


  • Pendant testing procedures

    A reminder that all residents should now be testing their own pendant alarm once a month. This arrangement has the added benefit of helping residents to build confidence in using the equipment. Please ensure you test your pendant alarm from inside your accommodation, not in the communal areas.  

    New residents, during their tenancy sign-up, are informed that it is a resident’s responsibility to carry out a monthly pendant test. However, where a Scheme Manager believes a resident is unable to test their pendant, or they have no immediate family members to support them, they will carry out the test. If you have any queries or concerns about pendants / pendant testing, please contact your local manager.  

    Please don't forget to test your pendant alarm.

    A monthly test is all it needs to ensure it is working effectively.  

    If you have any comments on this newsletter, please contact your Scheme Manager. 

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