Coronavirus Update

We’re continually reviewing the impact Coronavirus (COVID-19) might have on our business. We’ll update our website with the latest information regarding any changes to our services or processes should changes be needed. 

Read the personal note from our CEO Sinéad Butters 

Temporary stop on some services due to coronavirus

To protect you and our colleagues and in line with the latest government advice we have temporarily stopped allocating and letting homes, estate management (grass cutting, communal cleaning and scheme walkabouts), work on new development sites, and asbestos checks to garages.

We're sorry for any inconvenience caused however your safety and the safety of our colleagues is our priority.

Coronavirus Update

We’re currently reviewing the impact Coronavirus (COVID-19) might have on our business. We’ll update our website with the latest information regarding any changes to our services or processes should changes be needed. 

Here is our latest advice updated 19th March;

Customer advice Supplier advice Contractor advice

Change in our repairs service due to Coronavirus

Due to the coronavirus outbreak we’re now only carrying out emergency repairs and annual gas service and electricity checks. We’re sorry to disrupt our normal service however we must do this to protect you and our colleagues from the risk of spreading coronavirus.

Your safety and our colleague’s safety are of most importance to us. Gas and electricity checks are mandatory for us to ensure your homes are safe for you, that’s why we’re prioritising those visits, and we’re taking the appropriate measures to keep you and our colleagues safe when we carry these out.

We’re also prioritising emergency repairs. An emergency repair is:

  • Total loss of power
  • Communal lights not working
  • Insecure properties
  • No hot water
  • Blocked toilet or drain
  • No heating
  • Fire alarm failure
  • Structural issues to property causing safety concern
  • Uncontrollable water leak
  • Failure of door entry system

These repairs will keep you safe in your home during an emergency.

We’re sorry that we can’t currently take bookings for non-emergency repairs. We understand this is going to be inconvenient; each week we usually carry out about 450 repairs. However, we’re following Government advice to minimise contact to reduce the spread of the virus and we’re diverting all of our available resources to annual gas and electricity checks and emergency repairs, when people need it most.

If you have a non-emergency repair booked in the next few weeks, we will be contacting you to cancel the booking and rearrange an appointment at a time to suit you.

As soon as we can resume our usual repairs service we will do, and we will update you via our telephone message, on our website, on social media and via email.

We are here to support you and answer any questions you have – please contact us via live web chat or call us on 01782 635200.

 

Customer advice

Your health and wellbeing are very important to us.  We have produced the following, in line with Government and Public Health England advice, in response to the recent outbreak of coronavirus in the UK.

Do I need to tell you if I am self-isolating or have been infected with coronavirus?

Yes you do if you are expecting a visit from an Aspire Housing or PM Training colleague or one of Aspire’s contractors you need to contact us so that we can rearrange your appointment.  

What will you do if I try to make an appointment or I already have an appointment?

We will ask you if you or anyone in your household is self-isolating at present or have been infected with coronavirus.  If you or someone in your household are self-isolating or have been infected with the coronavirus and your call is about anything other than an emergency we will ask you to call back once you are well enough for us to visit.

What should I do if my neighbour is infected?

As long as you are not in close contact, the risk should be minimal. NHS advice states that the virus can only survive a short time outside the body. Just make sure you wash your hands regularly and avoid close contact with anyone who is unwell.

If I am unwell in my house or flat, will you deep clean the property?

This won’t be necessary as the virus can only survive outside the body for a short time. As long as you follow any medical and Government guidance, remain isolated for as long as you are advised and avoid further contact with anyone who has the virus, the risks will be low.

Can I visit your offices?

We advise you to travel and meet our colleagues only if it’s essential, in line with Government advice. We recommend you contact us by phone, email and online via live web chat instead.

Are you planning to cancel any events?

All of our events and gatherings of any size have been cancelled or postponed for the next 12 weeks.

The NHS has issued up-to-date medical advice on its website. For the latest information and guidance, visit: https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/coronavirus-covid-19/

 

Supplier advice

Advice to our suppliers on coronavirus – 16th March 2020

The safety and wellbeing of our colleagues and customers is our priority.

Whilst the outbreak of coronavirus (COVID-19) continues, we’ll regularly update our advice to you, as one of our suppliers, based on Government and Public Health England advice.

Please don’t be offended by our advice below; we are making these changes as we believe this will help protect them and yourselves from any potential spread of coronavirus.

Travel
We have advised colleagues that any travel to external companies be postponed unless business critical.

Meetings
We have recommended to colleagues that they work from home where possible and meetings with external contacts be held as virtual meetings or be postponed unless business critical.

Greeting people
In the event of an essential meeting we have advised our colleagues not to shake hands with people they are meeting. 

Events
All of our events and gatherings of any size have been cancelled or postponed for the next 12 weeks.

Our guidance
We are following Government and Public Health England advice, and the latest information can be found here:

https://www.gov.uk/guidance/coronavirus-covid-19-information-for-the-public

https://www.gov.uk/government/topical-events/coronavirus-covid-19-uk-government-response

https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/coronavirus-covid-19/

 

Contractor advice

The safety and wellbeing of our colleagues and customers is our priority.

Whilst the outbreak of coronavirus (COVID-19) continues, we’ll regularly update our advice to you, as one of our contractors, based on Government and Public Health England advice.

Our customers
It is important that we don’t alarm our customers and that we manage communications and processes by following Government advice on how to stay safe by taking steps to prevent the risk of spreading.  You must contact us if you are considering different methodology to your normal practices so that we can discuss this prior to any implementation.

Appointment setting
The contact for your appointment will have been asked these two questions before the appointment was confirmed:

  1. Are you or anyone in your household self-isolating?
  2. Have you or anyone in your household been infected with the coronavirus?

We will only be visiting customers who answer yes to these questions if there is an emergency, i.e. an emergency repair and we have taken advice from Public Health England before a colleague or contractor visits the property.  If the situation turns out not to be an emergency the job will be rescheduled, and no one will be required to carry out the work.

At the appointment
You should reconfirm with the customer that their answers are ‘no’ to the following two questions, before entering the property.

  1. Are you or anyone in your household self-isolating?
  2. Have you or anyone in your household been infected with the coronavirus?

Should the customer answer yes to one of the questions, if it is a not an emergency appointment you should let the customer know that because the appointment is not an emergency, that it will be postponed until a future time when the risk of spreading coronavirus has gone. In this case you should encourage the customer to rearrange the appointment once they are well enough.

Emergency appointments where the customer has been advised to self-isolate or there is a confirmed case of coronavirus

There are some appointments that must take place even if someone in the property has been advised to self-isolate or has been infected with the coronavirus. However, you will be advised of this beforehand.  You will usually have been told the work is classed as an emergency before you attend and the customer will have been advised on what to do to protect you.

In this instance you should:

  1. Enter the property and request that the person who has been advised to self-isolate or is infected with coronavirus stays in a separate room to the one where the appointment is taking place, keeping 2 metres away from the person. Ideally the room that they are in will be well ventilated if possible and they should stay there until you have completed the work. Do not shake hands with the person.
  2. Ensure you have all the appropriate PPE in place to carry out the appointment safely such as latex gloves and a face mask covering both the mouth and nose.
  3. You can wear your normal PPE too.
  4. Wash or sanitise your hands regularly.
  5. Do not touch your eyes, nose and mouth.
  6. Avoid touching surfaces within the property where possible. If you touch things with the gloves on then the gloves may have Coronavirus on them. So, you still need to follow the hygiene precautions.
  7. Clean your work area after the job using disposable wipes and not a cloth/rag that you use repeatedly between washes.
  8. Wipe down your tools and equipment with the wipes provided once the job is finished and you leave the property. Dispose of the wipes and all PPE into a bag and tie the bag. Remember if you are wearing a dust mask to take it off by removing from the back. The bag can then go into the bin as normal.
  9. Not touch your nose, eyes and mouth until your hands are cleaned with soap and water or hand sanitiser gel / liquid.

Greeting people

We advise minimising contact with people, which means we recommend you don’t shake hands with people/customers you are meeting.  Please reassure customers not to be offended by this; we are recommending this as we believe this will help protect them and yourselves from any potential spread of coronavirus.

Our guidance
We are following Government and Public Health England advice, and the latest information can be found here:

https://www.gov.uk/guidance/coronavirus-covid-19-information-for-the-public

https://www.gov.uk/government/topical-events/coronavirus-covid-19-uk-government-response

https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/coronavirus-covid-19/