Coronavirus (COVID-19) | News

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Coronavirus (COVID-19)

Latest Update 12 May 2020

Following the Prime Minister’s announcement on Sunday 10 May, please be aware that for now, there is no change to the current provision of services.

 

The health and safety of residents and staff is our top priority, so we’re doing all we can to keep you safe and protect the services that are most important to you. 

 

Our office remains closed, but you can contact us on 020 8709 4300, or by emailing enquiries@gatewayhousing.org.uk 

 

During this critical time, we will be prioritising the most vulnerable residents, so if your call is not urgent please call back at a later time, contact us through our websiteemail, or use the MyGateway portal.

 

All repairs apart from those that are emergencies have been suspended.

 

Your repairs handbook explains what is an emergency repair.

 

We will still be carrying out necessary compliance works: Gas checks, fire safety and electrical testing to ensure you remain safe in your homes.

 

Please note this means works that have been planned such as kitchen and bathroom replacements will be delayed. 

 

Should you have any questions, our customer service team, all working remotely, are on hand to help.

 

If you’ve been told to self-isolate, or you’re experiencing any symptoms and we’re due to visit your home you must let us know beforehand so the appointment can be rescheduled. 

 

It’s easy to contact us in other ways:

Telephone: 0208 709 4300

Email: Enquiries@gatewayhousing.org.uk

Webform:www.gatewayhousing.org.uk/contact

MyGateway Portal: MyGateway portal.

 

The government has released further information on the next phase of the national response to coronavirus. You can read the full guidance document or select information on specific topics.

There is also a set of frequently asked questions about what you can and can't do in the coming days and weeks.

 

The NHS has advice for helping you stay clear of infection and what to do if you feel unwell. This is updated regularly: www.nhs.uk/conditions/coronavirus-covid-19/

 

We will update this page with any significant changes in services or policies.

 

We have put together some frequently asked questions to help explain how we are responding to the outbreak which we will update should we need to change our response as the situation evolves.

Coronavirus: frequently asked questions


1. What should I do to avoid catching coronavirus?

We recommend that you follow the official medical and health advice provided by the government. You can find out more at www.nhs.uk/conditions/coronavirus-covid-19/ and www.gov.uk/government/topical-events/coronavirus-covid-19-uk-government-response.


2. If I get sick due to coronavirus, will you still come out to do repairs at my home?

We are now suspending all repairs apart from those that are emergencies. Your repairs handbook explains what type of repairs this is.

Please note this means works that have been planned such as kitchen and bathroom replacements may be delayed. If you have reported a routine repair we will be in contact to update you on what happens next.

We will still be carrying out necessary compliance works: Gas checks, fire safety and electrical testing to ensure you remain safe in your homes.

If you are sick due to coronavirus or self-isolating You must let us know if you are reporting an emergency repair, asking for a home visit, or have one already arranged. Self-isolation means that you must avoid contact with other people to avoid spreading the virus so we will be unable to visit anyone who is self-isolating.

In the case of serious emergencies, we will liaise with other services, for example, the health, fire, or police services, as necessary and on a case-by-case basis to help ensure your safety while not putting anyone else at risk of infection


3. Am I at risk of catching coronavirus from your staff visiting me?

 

We are monitoring the situation closely and have plans in place if the infection becomes more widespread and starts to affect the organisation.

 

All our staff are encouraged to keep up-to-date with the latest health advice, follow good hygiene practice and to inform their manager if they feel unwell.

 

We will also insist that all our people follow official advice, so if anyone is suspected of having the virus we would expect them to self-isolate to prevent them from spreading the illness.

There is, therefore, no reason though at present, to think that there is any more risk of infection from a home visit by one of our people than from the general population.


4. What will happen if Gateway Housing Association has to close down due to coronavirus?

We have contingency plans in place to help us continue providing essential services in the event of a range of emergencies – including pandemics.

 

If large numbers of staff cannot work as they are unwell we may need to cut back on some services for a time while we focus on more urgent work.

 

We have invested in technology which means that many of our staff can work from home so if the official advice changes and people are well but advised not to go out, they can continue providing services to our customers.


5. If I am sick and can’t pay my rent, or forget to pay, will my home be at risk?


Because this is an unusual situation we recognise that there may be all kinds of disruption to ‘business as usual’ at Gateway Housing Association if the outbreak develops further.

 

We have planned for a range of scenarios but recognise that we may have to be flexible in response to unexpected events. If customers are sick or having to care for others who are ill, cannot work or have other issues because of coronavirus, we would consider making reasonable adjustments to help people through this challenging time.

 

We will approach this on a case-by-case basis. If you are affected and you think it will affect your ability to pay your rent, please contact us to discuss the best way of adapting to the situation until things return to normal.

 

6. Why are contractors and caretakers on the estate/block, are they delivering an essential service?

 

As a housing provider, we do provide essential services such as emergency repairs and compliance. We feel that cleaning is also an essential service as Public Health England (PHE) and the Centre for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) have recommended the regular cleaning of communal areas to help prevent the spread of COVID-19. Which is why we have asked caretakers to focus on high touch areas such as lifts, handles and stair handrails. 

 

Our cleaning is in line with government guidelines, and by continuing to deliver this service it helps to keep residents and visitors safe. To alleviate risk and also protect the wellbeing of our staff, those delivering essential services have been encouraged to travel outside of peak times. Additional Personal Protection Equipment (PPE) has been provided to all frontline staff, and we have identified any staff members considered high risk, taking measures in line with government advice to support them. 

 

We also ask that residents observe government guidance and keep a two-metre distance from any staff or contractors that they encounter around the estate or block, and do not leave your home unnecessarily. We politely ask that you do not engage in conversation with them unless necessary. 

 

7. Why is the playground in our block/estate closed?

 

We have closed all the playgrounds we manage in order to ensure the health and safety of our residents. These closures are to ensure we adhere to the Government and Public Health England advice on social distancing and limit the spread of the coronavirus. These are temporary closures and all playgrounds will reopen when it is safe to do so.

 

COVID 19    Coronavirus

You might be worried about coronavirus (also known as COVID-19) and how it could affect your life. This may include being asked to stay at home or avoid other people.

This might feel difficult or stressful. But there are lots of things you can try that could help your wellbeing. Below are a few useful organisations that can provide advice and support:

Age UK

Advice or information on money, care or health

https://www.ageuk.org.uk/

08006781602

 

Cruse Bereavement Care

Information and support after a bereavement

08088081677

https://www.cruse.org.uk/

 

Mind Infoline: 0300 123 3393

https://www.mind.org.uk/information-support/coronavirus-and-your-wellbeing/

 

Money Advice Service| Free and impartial money advice

https://www.moneyadviceservice.org.uk/en/articles/coronavirus-what-it-means-for-you

 

National Domestic Violence helpline

The 24-hour helpline provides advice and support to women and can refer them to emergency accommodation.

08082000247 (24 hours)

helpline@womensaid.org.uk

www.nationaldomesticviolencehelpline.org.uk

 

NHS

Get medical help near you

https://111.nhs.uk/

111

 

Samaritans

24-hour emotional support for anyone who needs to talk.

116 123

https://www.samaritans.org/

jo@samaritans.org