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Client Panels Newsletter: Issue 2

In this Issue

In this edition, we’ll share our latest research findings and give you a sneak peak of what’s coming up in 2022.

Publications

  • Charter Measurement Framework and research report
  • Client Survey 2018 - 2021

News and updates

  • 2021 User Research projects
  • Research to evaluate of economic benefits

What’s next?

  • Main buildings in Dundee and Glasgow
  • Charter Measurement Framework 2022
  • Web chat service research
  • Our ways of working research

Publications

The Charter Measurement Framework and Client Survey

In summer 2021, we asked Client Panel members, staff and partner organisations about their experiences with Social Security Scotland.

The research involved:

  • interviews with 35 Client Panel members
  • a survey completed by 92 members of staff on Social Security Scotland’s
    People Panel
  • a focus group with 5 Client Experience staff
  • a survey sent to 92 partner organisations which received 13 responses.

The results were included in this year’s Charter Measurement Framework report, This tracks how well we are delivering on the commitments set out in Our Charter. It uses client, staff and partner organisation feedback to measure our performance and see where we can improve.

The findings of Client Survey 2018-2021 was also used for the framework. This was published alongside the Charter Measurement Framework in November 2021. It covers responses from clients who had interacted with Social Security Scotland from September 2018 to March 2021 and contains the views and experiences of over 10,500 Social Security Scotland clients.

Here are a few highlights from the Charter Measurement Framework 2020-21:

Most Client Survey respondents who had been in contact with staff were positive about their interaction:

  • Around 9 in 10 agreed or strongly agreed that they were treated with kindness
    (94 per cent) and that staff listened to them (92 per cent).
  • 91 per cent agreed or strongly agreed that staff made them feel comfortable and
    88 per cent said they felt trusted by staff.
  • Nearly 9 in 10 Client Survey respondents felt they had enough choices of communication to (89 per cent) and from (88 per cent) Social Security Scotland.
  • Around 1 in 10 Client Survey respondents disagreed that they got enough updates on the progress of their application (11 per cent).
  • Client interviewees were mostly positive about their experience with Social Security Scotland. Positive comments were about being treated well by staff and the accessibility of the service.

We launched our first Client Survey in August 2020. We invited everyone who had ever applied or received a Social Security Scotland payment to take part. Over 3,000 people responded. The survey asked about key aspects of your experience with Social Security Scotland.

“[I was treated by them] really well. I just felt like everybody was well trained, friendly, personable, understanding.”

“The website and online form are really user friendly. It’s laid out in a really simple straightforward way so that there’s nothing confusing about it.”

There were a couple of suggestions about how Social Security Scotland could improve. Some said email would make it easier for clients to interact with Social Security Scotland. Others suggested more awareness raising about the service and benefits.

“Social Security Scotland really needs to get out there and tell people that there are benefits for them to claim. I know a lot of people are missing out. Not because the website is particularly bad, but it’s mostly because people have no idea this thing exists.”

Read the Charter Measurement Framework 2020-21 report at socialsecurity.gov.scot/reporting/publications/measuring-our-charter-2020-2021

There’s a summary report about the research we did with Client Panel members, staff and partner organisations for the framework at

socialsecurity.gov.scot/reporting/publications/charter-research-2020-2021-summary-report

You can find the Client Survey report published at: socialsecurity.gov.scot/reporting/publications/client-survey-2018-2021

If you would like paper copies sent to you please get in touch using the details in the Contact us section of this newsletter.

You can find all our publications at socialsecurity.gov.scot/about/social-research

News and Updates

User Research

Cookie consent

Thank you to everyone who has taken part in the research sessions to help us decide how we should ask your permission about cookies. These are small pieces of information websites store on your computer.

The first phase took place over the summer. We tested different ways to ask permission, in both interviews and a survey with Client Panel members.

Results:

  • People told us they would like to be asked their consent using a banner, similar to what you see when you go on to other websites.
  • You also identified some further changes we needed to make.

The second phase, which took place in December, was to test the changes with some of you. The final changes have now been made and cookie consent will start appearing on application forms in 2022.

Funeral Support Payment form

We worked with Client Panel members who had experience with Funeral Support Payment applications to test changes to the application form. Thanks to your help, we were able to ensure the new questions made sense to clients and the new form went live in the summer.

Staff identity badges

We needed to test what new staff identity badges would look like when our local delivery staff start to meet with clients (restrictions permitting). Thanks to your input, we have simplified the badge to contain key information. The new badge design has now been issued to staff who will be meeting with clients in the future.

Policy evaluations of benefits

Since August 2021, we’ve been inviting panel members to take part in interviews about Scottish Child Payment, Best Start Foods, Funeral Support Payment and Child Winter Heating Assistance.

The research is being carried out by independent researchers for the Scottish Government. The results will help the Scottish Government understand what is working well and where improvements could be made. We are thankful to those who took part in this research.

We’ll share the links to the results in future newsletters once they’re published.

What's Next

Buildings research

Our next publication will focus on the results of a survey about Social Security Scotland's main buildings in Dundee and Glasgow.

We sent a survey to people who live within travelling distance of these buildings. It asked questions about travelling to and entering the building, as well as staff uniform and behaviours. The results will be published in our next newsletter.

Web chat research

We are currently working on a Web chat service research project. We ran a survey to learn more about Client Panel members’ expectations of the web chat service and their experience if they had already used it. This will help us make improvements. We are thankful to those who took part in this research. We are analysing the responses and will share this publication in a future newsletter.

Our ways of working

We are also carrying out research to help Social Security Scotland plan for the future location and working times of our staff. We invited Client Panel members to share their views on these topics in a recent survey. We’ll be publishing a report about what members told us soon.

Charter Measurement Framework 2022

Last but not least, we are now working on the Charter Measurement Framework 2022. This will involve talking to clients, staff and partner organisations about their experiences with Social Security Scotland over the past year. It will include clients with experience of Child Disability Payment which was rolled out nationally in November 2021.

Contact us

We’ll contact you in your preferred way when we can. If you decide you’d prefer we contacted you in another way, let us know and we’ll update our records. To do this or to let us know of any other relevant information to do with our research, you can contact us:

Online using our contact form: www.mygov.scot/client-panels/contact-client-panel

Freephone: 0800 029 4974

Post: Insights Research, PO Box 10303, Dundee, DD1 9FY

You can ask for phone line language interpretation by calling 0800 029 4974. If you’re a British Sign Language (BSL) user, you can contact us by going to contactscotland-bsl.org. If you’re a text phone user, you can call us using the 18001 prefix.

Questions about your benefits

The Client Panels team do not have access to your case information and can’t give advice. You can contact Social Security Scotland by:

Web chat: chat.socialsecurity.gov.scot/

Freephone: 0800 182 2222 (8am to 6pm, Monday to Friday).

If you're a British Sign Language user, you can use the contactSCOTLAND app to contact Social Security Scotland by video relay.

Post: Social Security Scotland, General Enquiries, PO Box 10301,
Dundee, DD1 9FY

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You can leave the Client Panels at any time. If you no longer want to take part let us know by using details in the Contact us section above.

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