28. COPFS has implemented a substantial number of the recommendations made, resulting in:
- More user friendly CHP;
- Improvements in the communication of responses, with updates being provided to those that take longer than 20 days, using language that would be readily understandable;
- Greater awareness of procedures and processes for dealing with complaints which should expedite more complaints; and
- Increased confidence of frontline staff, who have attended the bespoke customer service First Impressions training, to deal with complaints.
29. The recommendations that remain outstanding do, however, have the potential to make a substantial difference.
30. The lack of progress on the recommendations aimed at monitoring, identifying trends and learning from complaints and using key performance indicators to drive improvements and provide a base line to measure service performance is disappointing.
31. Critical to improving service delivery is a culture that values complaints and commits to learning from them. Tackling the underlying causes of complaints is more effective than having to repeatedly apologise or rectify an act or omission as a result of a complaint.
32. We are assured that, this will be taken forward by the SIB. It is anticipated that there will be demonstrable evidence of progress in the next six months. With that in mind IPS will revisit Recommendations 14 and 15 and the work of the newly established Service Improvement Board and any outcomes arising from the Service Improvement Office, and report on progress made in its Annual Report to be published later this year.