Coronavirus Update – March 2022

COVID-19 Service update banner

From 24th February the Government activated its ‘Living with Covid Plan’ which ends many requirements relating to Covid-19. In response to this we are making changes to the way we have been working including;

  • Masks and PPE are no longer mandatory however we respect the decision of staff and customers who wish to to continue using these. Our staff will ask you upon arrival at your home if you would like them to wear a mask and if you are classed as clinically extremely vulnerable.
  • We ask that you continue make us aware if any member of your household has Covid so that we can continue to deliver our services in a safe manner.
  • Until the end of March we are asking our staff to continue using lateral flow tests.

What our services look like

GCH Reception: We are asking all our customers to contact us via phone or online as we will only be taking appointments for customers needing to drop off and pick up keys and receive new fobs at this time. Please do not come to our customer hub without first making an appointment as we will not be able to see you.

Repairs, Maintenance and Health and Safety Checks: We continue to provide a full repairs service and ensure that your homes comply with required health and safety checks such as Gas servicing and electrical testing. We ask you to work with us to ensure these can be booked in and completed as required.

When we come into your home, we will ensure that yours and our staffs health and safety is the key priority, and our teams will wear full personal protective equipment.

Home improvements: Home improvement works to properties continue and we will contact you directly to agree how the works will be completed whist maintaining safe working practices.

External work in our communities: Our Estate Services team continue with their normal duties, working safely to improve our outdoor communal areas. 

Housing and Letting Services: Our staff will work from home and will only attend pre-arranged home visits or appointments. This includes our lettings team.

Independent Living: Our Independent Living Team are working on site and communal lounges remain open with COVID safety measures in place.

Rent Payments: Tenants should continue to pay rent and abide by all other terms of their tenancy agreement to the best of their ability. If you are experiencing financial difficulty you should continue to prioritise your rent payments and contact our Tenancy Sustainment team for support and advice. 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.

Community Support: Since March we have worked closely with a wide range of community groups and partners to provide community-based support and we will continue to do so during this period. Details of the support can be found on Gloucester City Council’s website.

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 clinically extremely vulnerable, clinically vulnerable 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 at Home – Protect the NHS – 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 clinically extremely vulnerable, clinically vulnerable 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 and those shown at the end of this information:

  • 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.

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, clinically extremely vulnerable or clinically vulnerable (shielding).
  • Carry out all work in line with Government Guidance.
  • Observe social distancing and avoid any contact 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, clinically extremely vulnerable or clinically vulnerable.
  • 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.
  • Ensure rooms where GCH staff are working are well ventilated wherever possible.
  • Understand that if these safety requirements are not followed that our staff will be required to leave your property.

You can read all of the service update letters we have sent to tenants here.

If you are concerned or need to talk to us about your situation, please call us on 01452 424344 where a member of the team will be happy to speak to you.

The latest advice

For your safety and that of others we ask that all tenants and residents follow the advice from the Government which can be found here.

Concerns related to Coronavirus affecting employment and paying rent

If you are worried about how you will pay your rent and bills, please get in touch with our friendly Tenancy Sustainment Team

Please make every effort to pay your rent by whatever means you can and if you are experiencing difficulties
please be assured that we have officers available by phone on 01452 424344 to take phone payments and give advice.

You may wish to sign up for MyGCH where you can make rent payments and view your balances 24/7.