The Shelia Seleoane Report – Lessons Learned

Posted: 2nd August 2022

We welcome Peabody’s response to our review, their acceptance that they missed opportunities to act sooner, and their intention to implement all the recommendations we make. The tragic death of Ms S highlights what can happen when the sight of the customer gets lost in a system that, at the time, appeared to emphasise processes over people, and where there was no communication or collaboration between agencies.

The Shelia Seleoane report includes valuable insights from housing sector leaders and makes recommendations for change.

We hope the sector will adopt these for greater joined-up working within organisations and always putting customers at the centre.

The lessons learned from this tragic event lead to recommendations for Peabody and the housing sector to consider:

  • Where possible, ensure direct contact and two-way communication is made with the tenant:
    • prior to making a major change to a tenancy, for example, gas capping or redirecting their Universal Credit
    • at least annually, even if this is to confirm or re-confirm that they do not wish to have further regular contact with their landlord.
  • Identify across the organisation customer touchpoints and re-consider the current siloed approach in housing and tenancy services, to explore where there may be greater joined-up working and sharing of business intelligence.
  • Develop an operational culture that encourages colleagues to be curious, to ask questions and follow through on customer queries and their welfare: ‘see something, say something, do something’.
  • Review the role of the NM (or equivalent front-line roles) to move away from the purely transactional nature of the current role and provide more capacity for ‘thinking time’, and ‘human interaction’ to provide a more holistic approach to the tenant.
  • Test the patch size proposals within the design of any new localities model. Round table participants had patch sizes from 200 – 800, some designed on a more dynamic model using data to formulate the requirements of the NM. Also, examine the frequency of estate inspections and whether being visible twice or four times per year is consistent with a more holistic role.  
  • Use data to provide insight, triggers and a welfare dashboard that covers all customer touchpoints. Suggested triggers are:
    • Changes in behaviour (rent payments, response to access requests, lack of repairs calls)
    • Lack of contact/access – the silent tenant
    • Neighbour concerns
    • Tale-tell signs such as ‘smell/stench’ reported multiple times (these need to be logged), maggots and flies.
  • Improve relationships with partners: local authorities, police, other statutory bodies, and third-sector agencies.
  • Update training for suppliers and contractors to include safeguarding, wellbeing checks and reporting anything unusual, specifically involving cleaners or caretakers and those that have regular contact/visits to the property.
  • Continue providing regular training on gas capping procedures to NMs and contractors, ensuring communication across functions when no access is a feature.
  • An overall theme that came through both round-table discussions was for landlords to focus on the ‘social’ part of social housing, to be outcomes-based and take on a duty to follow through.

Click here to view the full Shelia Seleoane Report.


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