Our response to the coronavirus for those in our Homes for Older People

19 March 2020

The health and safety of our customers and colleagues is our greatest priority.

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We are working hard to continue to provide our essential services to customers and understand that many of our customers will be concerned because of the uncertainty the outbreak has created.

This letter will be sent to all customers living in our homes for older people. A separate letter is being sent to those customers who live in our general needs homes, which you can read here.

Our response to the coronavirus

In light of the recent coronavirus outbreak (COVID-19), we’d like to share the actions we’re taking to help protect our customers, colleagues and wider communities.

The safety of our customers and colleagues is our top priority, and we are following the latest Government advice and guidelines.

We are continuing to deliver services – with some changes

Our team will continue to deliver services to you as smoothly as possible, however we have already made some changes to the services we provide and may need to make further changes.  Please check our website regularly for up to date information.


  • We are continuing to carry out essential repairs.
  • We are continuing to complete all health and safety checks in person. This includes risk assessments, gas safety checks (where there is a gas supply), fire safety tests and checks, and so on.
  • When booking and before attending essential appointments, we’ll ask you some extra questions about coronavirus, such as whether anyone in your household is diagnosed or self-isolating. This is to enable us to take appropriate safety measures.
  • Our staff may sometimes wear gloves during visits, or keep a certain distance away. They may ask you to wait in a separate room in your home whilst they complete any work required. This is part of our precautions to help reduce any risk.
  • Our estates services will continue as normal.
  • We will increase the frequency of cleaning until further notice. This is to reinforce good hygiene and infection control, especially in our communal areas.
  • We won’t arrange any group activities until further notice and ask you not to use the communal seating areas where possible.
  • We will suspend face to face customer consultations on, and therefore changes to, our service offer, until further notice. This applies to those services where consultation is yet to take place.
  • If we have made a start replacing your kitchen, bathroom, windows, doors, heating system, or electrics, we will complete these. We will not be starting any new planned works for the time being.

Changes to your financial circumstances

If your financial circumstances have changed due to COVID-19 and you have concerns about your ability to pay your rent, please contact our Customer Accounts Team as soon as possible on 0303 123 1890.  Our Customer Accounts Team will be able to provide guidance on an individual basis.  Where it’s needed, they will refer you to our Customer Support Team who can provide more specialist advice or signpost you to the external help and support that is available.

Though rent will continue to be charged in the usual way, we want to make it clear that no tenant or homeowner will face legal proceedings or eviction for rent arrears resulting from the pandemic.

In the event of an emergency

Any on-site fire incident advice remains valid and in the event of a fire alarm you will need to follow this advice. This may include evacuating the building if advised to do so, even if you have been advised to self-isolate.

Minimising the spread of infection

COVID-19 is believed to spread similarly to flu: tiny droplets can be transmitted if someone with the virus coughs or sneezes near to someone else, or if someone touches a contaminated object before touching their own mouth, nose or eyes.

One of the most important and effective things everyone can do to help prevent the spread of COVID-19 is to wash hands frequently, thoroughly (for at least 20 seconds), and with soap and hot water. Hand-washing facilities are available in every flat and in communal areas.

If you have symptoms of COVID-19

The information in this section is current as at 18 March 2020. Advice is changing frequently, so please check the NHS or Government websites for the latest advice.

Signs of infection include a persistent cough, difficulty breathing and/or a high temperature.

In accordance with Government advice, if you have any of these symptoms, you should self-isolate (stay at home, away from other people).  Please check the NHS website for details on isolation periods, as this varies depending on individual circumstances, and changes from time to time.

If your symptoms worsen during self-isolation, or are no better after seven days, contact NHS 111 online. If you don’t have internet access, you should call NHS 111. For a medical emergency dial 999.

Please remember to tell us if you or anyone in your household has a confirmed case of Coronavirus or is self-isolating; this is so we can respond appropriately. You can call us on 0303 123 1890.

What happens next?

As the situation continues to change, we are making every effort to minimise the spread of infection while continuing to support our customers in the most effective way possible. To help us do this, we may ask you for some extra information, such as any other assistance you may receive from a friend or family member, a volunteer, or other parties.

We are continually monitoring the situation and our response in accordance with the latest Government guidelines.

We will keep you informed about any important updates to our services or our working arrangements, but in the meantime, if you have any questions please contact us on 0303 123 1890.