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The importance of balance in a scrutiny project 

Anne-Marie Bancroft, customer engagement manager at Salix Homes.

Having a modern approach to scrutiny is vital for providers to be able to deliver scrutiny projects that are balanced and effective. At Salix Homes, we’ve renewed our entire approach to customer engagement to ensure that engagement is meaningful, and outcome focussed.  

For a start, we understand that there is a need to recognise customers for their time and contributions.  This started with our Customer Committee; a committee of our board who are remunerated at the same level as our board members. We have now applied this approach to scrutiny, by ensuring panel members are recognised for their time.  

We have also refreshed how scrutiny is delivered. Our Customer Committee determine a scope and commission a customer panel selected from our scrutiny pool to deliver a scrutiny project on a task and finish basis. Our scrutiny pool is a group of our customers who applied for places on our Customer Committee and still wanted to have a say about how we deliver our services. Scrutiny panels are set up with consideration of the interests and experiences of members.  

Scrutiny projects at Salix Homes are now intensive and delivered within eight weeks, meaning that our Customer Committee can commission a piece of scrutiny and expect to receive the report back by their next meeting. Delivering projects at a fast pace ensures that the project stays relevant and timely. 

Our Customer Committee have recently commissioned their first piece of scrutiny in relation to reviewing our approach to business continuity management during the Covid-19 pandemic.