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Warm Front: how early engagement with the Ombudsman helps to resolve complaints

Foreward

Public services are not always delivered smoothly and sometimes people may have reason to complain. When this happens, public organisations should focus on the best way to resolve a complaint, even if we are investigating it.

A focus on outcomes at all stages of a complaint can help to get the complaint resolved. This report on our investigations into three complaints about the Warm Front scheme shows how a government department has taken positive action in response to our involvement. It was only when we got involved that Carillion Energy Services (Carillion) and the Department of Energy and Climate Change (the Department) addressed these complaints fully. Our intervention should not have been necessary. However, once we were involved, the Department and Carillion responded to us positively. In two further cases we did not need to investigate because the Department and Carillion came up with a resolution that the complainants were happy with. Since then, both the Department and Carillion have explored new ways to resolve complaints and have used the lessons from our work to improve their customers’ experience.