Merton Council has scooped a top government award for its excellence in customer service.
The council’s direct payments team – which arranges cash payments to disabled residents who want to manage their own care rather than receive home care or use a day centre provided by the council -has been awarded the new Customer Service Excellence accolade for its commitment to residents’ needs.
The award, which replaces the old Charter Mark for high quality customer service delivered by public bodies, is assessed independently on behalf of central government’s Cabinet Office.
Merton’s direct payments team set up forums and consultation groups so customers could voice their concerns. Staff also produce newsletters to keep residents informed and carry out regular surveys to find out how they can improve the services they offer.
Merton Council’s cabinet member for housing, adult care and health Councillor Linda Scott said:
“I am delighted the direct payments team has received this award. The team has worked extremely hard to make sure those residents with disabilities have the choice about whether they use council services or instead receive money from the council to manage their care themselves.
“We are determined to put the needs of our residents first, whether they want us to provide them with care ourselves or give them the means to employ their own carers and assistants.”