Coronavirus Update – July 2020

Coronavirus Update – July 2020

Coronavirus Update – July 2020

We would like to thank all tenants for their support and patience whilst we have been delivering our services in line with Government advice. 

Since 1st June 2020we re-started the services that we were unable to provide during the peak of the COVID-19 Pandemic, having put in place a number of additional safety measures to protect you and our staff. This means that the way we deliver services is 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 look like from the 1st June

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

Repairs and Maintenance: We have resumed routine repairs and continue to prioritise emergency and essential repairs. We ask you to be patient, as we work through a backlog of repairs. 

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 Services: Most of our staff continue to work from home and are only attending pre-arranged home visits or undertaking welfare checks as required. We 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 Schemes: In 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 Living: Independent Living Officers continue to work from home and attend schemes to carry out Health and Safety checks and undertake welfare checks as required. We continue to respond to customer enquiries and undertake welfare calls providing any necessary support over the phone or online. 

External work in our communities: Our Estate Services team have resumed normal duties, working safely to improve our outdoor communal areas. Outdoor planned works such as new fencing has also resumed.  

We are still dealing with a high number of calls and requests and ask customers to be patient whilst we respond to these. Please don’t hesitate to contact us if you have any questions or concerns about how we are going to deliver services safely. Contact us on 01452 424344 or email tenancy.services@gch.co.uk  

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 any contact wherever possible  
  • Wear the appropriate Personal Protective Equipment  
  • Maintain high levels of personal hygiene (washing hands or using sanitiser before and during all visits) 
  • 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. 

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

There are numerous community partners who are on hand to help the most vulnerable and those who are in need at this time. Click here for their contact details.

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.

You can see how we have been helping in our communities here.

The Latest Advice

For your saftey and that of others we ask that all tenants and residents follow the advice from the Government – visit the NHS 111 online service

Government guidance for tenants 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 read our advice here.

If you have any concerns, please get in touch with our friendly Tenancy Sustainment Team. At this stage we are on hand to take payments and set up Direct Debits but we understand you may not want to set up a Direct Debit. If you are concerned about the money not being in your account and being charged, we can set up a Recurring Card payment for you,  this means that there will be no charges from the bank if the money is not in your account.

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 online.