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Published: 1st September 2020

Each year, a representative from the Centre of Assessment visits Harrogate Neighbours to audit the organisation looking at a number of criteria including customer insight, the culture of the organisation, information and access, delivery and timeliness and quality of service. Ahead of the visit, staff, tenants, partners, stakeholders and families are contacted by the organisation to build a good picture of how well Harrogate Neighbours is conducting itself from a customer service perspective. Due to the current climate, this year the site audit was carried out remotely via Zoom and staff, residents and tenants were all invited to take part.

Harrogate Neighbours was praised for its response to the COVID-19 pandemic, particularly in its communication internally and externally to ensure the highest level of customer service for the residents they take care of. It is one of only a handful of care homes in the area to have had no reported cases of COVID-19 in either of its sites.

In addition to the Customer Service Excellence certificate, Harrogate Neighbours also received a Compliance Plus certificate for the hard work and dedication from the Harrogate & Ripon Food Angels which also received the Queens Award for Voluntary Service in June 2020.

Speaking on behalf of the Centre for Assessment, Assessor, Hugh Keachie said, ““What stood out for me was that all the staff just adapted to the Virus, and all the necessary changes that had to be made - the staff just said ‘we can do this’!. The ‘customers’ understand what they had to do during the pandemic because of all the excellent communication from HNHA and constantly keeping them informed. “Hugh said it is like everyone just wanted to stand up to the challenge and be accountable.”

Commenting on the certifications, Sue Cawthray, CEO at Harrogate Neighbours, said, “I am so proud of the hard work and dedication shown by everyone at Harrogate Neighbours – particularly in the face of the worst pandemic we have ever had to deal with.

“I am delighted we have maintained our customer service standards in spite of a very challenging few months and I am overjoyed that the volunteers and staff running the Harrogate & Ripon Foods Angels service have once again been praised for their incredible efforts. The service has been busier than ever and our selfless volunteers have been out in full PPE delivering hundreds of meals to vulnerable people in the community. Thank you to Hugh and our staff team for co-ordinating the remote audit via Zoom so well with our residents, tenants and staff – they all thoroughly enjoyed it!”

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