Coronavirus Letters Sent to All Tenants

Coronavirus Letters Sent to All Tenants

Coronavirus Letters Sent to All Tenants

Below are copies of updates that we have sent to all tenants which explain GCH’s position on delivering services during increasing numbers of Coronavirus cases affecting the UK.

28th May 2020 – GCHs on-going response to Coronavirus – to all tenants

We would like to thank you for your support and patience during this extremely difficult time whilst we have been delivering essential services in line with Government advice. 

Following the Prime Minister’s announcement on the 10th May and the recent update to Government Covid-19 working safely guidance, we have been preparing for a staged re-introduction of our services that will meet the guidance and maintain on-going social distancing requirements both at GCH work premises and in our tenants and residents homes.  

What does this mean to you? 

From the week commencing 1st June 2020, we will begin to re-start the services we have not been able to provide during this period, having put in place a number of additional safety measures to protect you and our staff. This means that the way we deliver services will be different and where we can, we will continue to provide services remotely. 

What you must tell us before we visit your home 

To enable us to work safely in your home, you must: 

  • Tell us if you or a member of your household is shielding or has a confirmed case of Coronavirus (COVID-19) so that we can agree arrangements to deliver essential services.  
  • Comply with Government advice in relation to ‘Stay Alert – Control the Virus – Save Lives’, particularly in relation to social distancing. 

What you can expect when we visit your home 

On your doorstep, we will again ask you to let us know if you or a member of your household is shielding or has a confirmed case of Coronavirus (COVID-19) so that we can agree arrangements to deliver essential services.  

Before attending an appointment at your home, we will contact you and advise on how we intend to deliver the service in a safe manner to the following guidelines: 

  • Our staff wearing the appropriate PPE 
  • Following social distancing rules wherever possible 
  • Requiring residents to isolate in a separate room from where the staff member is working for the duration of the visit/works being undertaken.  

These guidelines have been put in place to ensure the safety of both our staff and residents. If they are not followed our staff have been instructed to leave the property. 

What our services will look like from the 1st June? 

Here is a brief guide to what our services will look like in the short term; 

Repairs and MaintenanceWe will resume routine repairs but will continue to prioritise emergency and essential repairs. We ask you to be patient, as we work through a backlog of repairs. Usually we complete 260 repairs a week and it will take a while to catch up with jobs reported during the lockdown. 

Home improvements:  Investment works to properties will be reviewed on a priority need basis and we will notify you directly to agree how the works will be completed whist maintaining safe working practices. 

Housing ServicesMost of our staff will continue to work from home and will only attend pre-arranged home visits or undertake welfare checks as required. We will continue to respond to our customer enquiries and talk to you about your tenancy and rental payments, providing you with the necessary support and advice over the phone or online.  

GCH Railway House Reception and communal areas within Independent Living SchemesIn line with current Government advice, our reception at Railway House and Independent Living Schemes will remain closed until further notice. We are currently making changes to these areas to enable safe access/use in the future. 

Independent LivingIndependent Living Officers will continue to work from home and attend schemes to carry out Health and Safety checks and undertake welfare checks as required. We will continue to respond to customer enquiries and undertake welfare calls providing any necessary support over the phone or online. 

External work in our communitiesOur Estate Services team have now resumed normal duties, working safely to improve our outdoor communal areas. Outdoor planned works such as new fencing will now also resume.  

We are expecting a high number of calls and requests and would therefore ask customers to be patient whilst we respond to these. Please don’t hesitate to contact us if you have any questions regarding the content of this letter or have concerns about how we are going to deliver services safely during this period. Contact us on 01452 424344 or email tenancy.services@gch.co.uk  

Yours Sincerely,  Anita Pope – Director of Housing, Communities and Governance 

GCH Covid-19 Working Safely Commitment  

When we provide a service or carry out work in your home we will: 

  • Contact you in advance to explain what safety measures will be put in place 
  • Restrict work to emergency only in households where customers are symptomatic, self-isolating or shielding 
  • Carry out all work in line with Government Guidance 
  • Observe social distancing and avoid ancontact wherever possible  
  • Wear the appropriate Personal Protective Equipment  
  • Maintain high levels of personal hygiene (washing hands or using sanitiser before we enter and after we leave your home) 
  • Limit the number of staff working in your property 
  • Do everything we can to keep customers and colleagues safe 

What we need you to do when we visit you or carry out work in your home; 

  • Tell us if you are symptomatic, self-isolating or shielding 
  • Maintain social distancing wherever possible and throughout the duration of the visit 
  • Isolate in a separate room when the staff member attends and for the duration of the visit/works being undertaken 
  • Understand that if these safety requirements are not followed that our staff will be required to leave your property. 

24th March 2020 – GCHs on-going response to Coronavirus – to all tenants (Independent Living tenants letter is below)

Following our recent letter to you regarding our response to the impact of the Coronavirus and the latest Government advice we have made some temporary changes to our services. From Tuesday 24th March;

  • Our reception and offices will be closed to customers
  • We will continue to undertake emergency and essential repairs
  • We will continue to carry out health and safety related works including gas servicing
  • Any improvement works that we have already started in your home will be completed
  • We will continue to respond to customer calls, emails, letters, social media enquiries and texts and talk to you about your tenancy and provide any necessary support over the phone or online. 

We will write to all tenants again when our normal services resume.

We are continuing to ask our customers to let us know if they are self-isolating or have a confirmed case of Coronavirus (COVID-19) so that we can agree arrangements to deliver essential services.

We continue to encourage customers to follow the NHS guidance on avoiding catching or spreading coronavirus including regularly washing hands and are providing regular updates via our website and social media platforms. Sign up to receive updates via our enewsletter at www.gch.co.uk/signup. We also encourage you to stay safe and avoid social contact wherever possible.

Please don’t hesitate to contact us if you are worried about paying your rent or other services. We are here and available to assist you in whichever way we can. Contact us on 01452 424344 or email tenancy.services@gch.co.uk

Yours Sincerely, Anita Pope – Director of Housing, Communities and Governance

24th March 2020 – GCHs on-going response to Coronavirus – sent to Independent Living Residents

Following our recent letter to you regarding our response to the impact of the Coronavirus and the latest Government advice we have made some temporary changes to our services. From Tuesday 24th March; 

  • Communal areas will be closed
  • Our reception and offices will be closed to customers
  • We will continue to undertake emergency and essential repairs
  • We will continue to carry out health and safety related works including gas servicing
  • Any improvement works that we have already started in your home will be completed
  • We will continue to respond to customer calls, emails, letters, social media enquiries and texts and talk to you about your tenancy and provide any necessary support over the phone or online. 
  • Independent Living Officers continue to work from home and are making regular contact with all residents.

We will write to all tenants again when our normal services resume.

Please note: Whilst staff and contractors continue to attend schemes to carry out mandatory health and safety checks it is important that you follow the safe practices recommended by the Government and refrain from approaching individuals as this puts both you and the person at risk. A list of all scheme phone numbers is provided at the end of this letter. Please call your Independent Living Officer if you wish to speak to us.

We are continuing to ask our customers to let us know if they are self-isolating or have a confirmed case of Coronavirus (COVID-19) so that we can agree arrangements to deliver essential services. 

We continue to encourage customers to follow the NHS guidance on how to avoid catching or spreading coronavirus including regularly washing hands (https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/coronavirus-covid-19/) and are providing regular updates via our website and social media platforms. 

We recognise that it is a concerning time regarding the spread and impact of the Coronavirus with the advice and information constantly changing and being updated. Please contact us if you have any questions, concerns or need to report that you are self-isolating, please contact your Independent Living Officer via the relevant number below

Badger Vale Court – 01452 833218

Broom House – 01452 833159

Charter Court – 01452 833179

Clapham Court – 01452 833095

Dickens Close – 01452 833184

Halford House – 01452 833158

Nightingale House – 01452 833216

Oliver Close – 01452 833185

or email independentliving.service@gch.co.uk

Yours Sincerely, Anita Pope – Director of Housing, Communities and Governance

19th March 2020 – GCHs on-going response to Coronavirus – to all tenants (Independent Living tenants letter is below)

Following our recent letter to you regarding our response to the impact of the Coronavirus we have all now received further advice from the Government. To stop the spread of the virus, we have asked many of our staff to work from home and as a result, we have made some temporary changes to our service delivery to customers as follows: 

  • We are closing our customer reception at Railway House from Monday 23rd March until further notice and ask that rather than visiting our reception, you call or communicate online such as via email to book an emergency appointment. This will help us to protect customers and staff allowing us to maintain our essential services. 
  • We will continue to respond to customer calls, emails, letters, social media enquiries and texts. 
  • We will continue to talk to you about any issues related to your tenancy and provide any necessary support over the phone or online. 
  • We will undertake regular health and wellbeing calls to our most vulnerable customers. 
  • We are reviewing our approach to delivering repairs and may need to shortly move to delivering emergency repairs only. 
  • We are working with the City Council, County Council and community partners to provide support to the most vulnerable residents across Gloucester. 
  • If you require a Foodbank voucher please contact us so we can make suitable arrangements. 

We are continuing to ask our customers to let us know if they are self-isolating or have a confirmed case of Coronavirus (COVID-19) so that we can agree arrangements to deliver essential services. 

Please don’t hesitate to contact us if you are worried about paying your rent and we will provide support. 

We continue to encourage customers to follow the NHS guidance on how to avoid catching or spreading coronavirus including regularly washing hands (https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/coronavirus-covid-19/) and are providing regular updates via our website and social media platforms. 

If you have any questions, concerns or need to report that you are self-isolating, please contact us on 01452 424344 or email tenancy.services@gch.co.uk  

Yours Sincerely, Anita Pope – Director of Housing, Communities and Governance 

19th March 2020 – GCHs on-going response to Coronavirus – letter to tenants who live in an Independent Livign Property

Following our recent letter and in response to changing Government advice to stop the spread of COVID-19, we are writing to all residents of our Independent Living Schemes to advise of some temporary changes to the way we deliver services to our customers: 

  • Independent Living Officers will work from home, providing health and wellbeing calls to all Independent Living residents (whether you have a tenant contact plan in place or not) and will undertake regular health and safety checks of our schemes. 
  • We have reluctantly cancelled all groups and activities within communal facilities at sheltered schemes and are advising you not to hold your regular activities in the communal facilities in line with Government guidance. 
  • We will be closing our customer reception at Railway House from Monday 23rd March and ask that rather than visiting our reception, you call us or communicate online such as via email.  This will help us to protect customers and staff allowing us to maintain our essential services. 
  • We will continue to respond to customer calls, emails, letters, social media enquiries and texts. 
  • We are reviewing our approach to delivering repairs and may need to shortly move to delivering emergency repairs only.  
  • We are working with the City Council, County Council and community partners to provide support to the most vulnerable residents across Gloucester and will provide information regarding what support is available as soon as possible.  
  • If you require a Foodbank voucher please contact us so we can make suitable arrangements. 

We are continuing to ask our customers to let us know if they are self-isolating or have a confirmed case of Coronavirus (COVID-19) so that we can agree arrangements to deliver essential services.  

We continue to encourage customers to follow the NHS guidance on how to avoid catching or spreading coronavirus including regularly washing hands (https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/coronavirus-covid-19/) and are providing regular updates via our website and social media platforms.  

We recognise that it is a concerning time regarding the spread and impact of the Coronavirus with the advice and information constantly changing and being updated. Please contact us if you have any questions, concerns or need to report that you are self-isolating, please contact your Independent Living Officer via the relevant number below 

Badger Vale Court – 01452 833218 – Broom House – 01452 833159 – Charter Court – 01452 833179 – Clapham Court – 01452 833095 – Dickens Close – 01452 833184  – Halford House – 01452 833158 – Nightingale House – 01452 833216 – Oliver Close – 01452 833185 

or email independentliving.service@gch.co.uk  

Yours Sincerely, Anita Pope – Director of Housing, Communities and Governance 

16th March 2020 – GCH response to Coronavirus

Dear Tenant,

We recognise that it is a concerning time for you and your family regarding the spread of the Coronavirus (COVID19) and its impacts on our lives with information changing daily.

Following the increasing number of coronavirus cases being confirmed in the UK and in response to the latest NHS guidance, we are asking our customers to let us know if they are self- isolating as the result of a confirmed or suspected case of coronavirus or following recent travel or close contact with someone who has a confirmed case.  This will enable us to agree with you how best to provide essential services.

We are also advising our staff and customers to follow the NHS guidance on how to avoid catching or spreading coronavirus including regularly washing hands (https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/coronavirus-covid-19/) and are providing regular updates via our website and social media platforms.

Our focus is to continue providing high quality services to our customers, but we may need to change the way we deliver those services and focus on essential or emergency activities for a period of time as the situation develops. We are currently putting plans in place to prepare for a number of circumstances; including customers self-isolating, large numbers of staff unable to be at work or having to work from home and the continually changing guidance and requirements from the Government.

Although we are not at this point yet, we are preparing to possibly close our customer reception and office at Railway House and communicate with our customers over the phone and on-line only for all non- emergency services. We wanted to give you advance warning of these possible changes and will only take this approach if we need to in order to protect essential services and reduce the spread of the virus.

We will write to you again and keep you updated if this decision is taken and will ensure that our online and telephone customer communications are maintained. We encourage all customers to look at our website for updates and register to MyGCH (www.gch.co.uk/mygch) which allows all tenants to check their rent balance, make payments and update their contact details.

If you have any questions, concerns or need to report that you are self-isolating, please contact us on 01452 424344 or email tenancy.services@gch.co.uk

Yours Sincerely, Anita Pope – Director of Housing, Communities and Governance