An update about our response to COVID-19

While we’ve all enjoyed parts of normal life return and restrictions ease this summer, it’s clear that the impact of COVID-19 continues to affect us all.

We’ve seen it in our backlog of repairs and just like many people, lots of our hard-working front-line staff have needed to self-isolate after being contacted by NHS Test and Trace.

These factors have all affected the normal routine repair service you receive from us.

Your repair service isn’t quite back to normal, but we’re working hard to get there

We’re pleased to be able to provide a full repairs service in your home however, at the moment we’re prioritising urgent and emergency repairs so this does mean that our routine repairs service is being affected by delays.

This is also affecting our planned kitchen and bathroom upgrades, plus some boiler replacements.

We know how disappointing it can be when a repair or upgrade gets cancelled or rearranged at short notice. We’re working hard to reduce the waiting times you experience, but we expect to continue seeing delays to our service into the Autumn.

We’ve kept a record of all the repairs you’ve logged since the third lockdown in January 2021, so please be reassured that you don’t need to do anything if you’ve reported a repair. We’ll be in touch when we’ve arranged a new date for this work to take place. We do however ask that if you or a family member are self-isolating or have COVID-19 symptoms please contact us to re-arrange any booked appointments for repairs or planned visits.

Our priority is your safety

As ever, our priority remains the safety of both you and our people, and we’d like to take this opportunity to thank you for your ongoing support and understanding.

As restrictions have eased, it’s now up to individuals and businesses to follow government guidance to stay safe. We want to make sure everyone feels comfortable when we visit your home, so for the foreseeable future we’re keeping some measures in place.

This means that we’ll continue to wear a face covering in your home and we ask in return that you maintain social distancing during any visit. Here are a few other safety measures we’re keeping in place:

  • Please wear face coverings in all indoor communal areas
  • Wear a face covering, stay in another room or at least two metres away from our colleagues when they are working
  • Tell us if you or anyone in your household is self-isolating or has tested positive for COVID-19
  • If our colleagues feel unsafe at any time, they can stop what they are doing and leave
  • If you live in an independent living scheme which is in outbreak status due to two or more people testing positive for COVID-19, please follow all advice we share with you from Public Health England.

Colleagues working in our communities will:

  • Self-test twice a week for COVID-19
  • Wash their hands regularly and wipe down their tools and surfaces
  • Wear face coverings in your home and in communal areas
  • Maintain social distancing in your home
  • Keep windows open where they are working.

Over the last 18 months we’ve adapted to the challenges caused by the pandemic and we’ll continue to listen to government guidance and follow advice from our own risk assessments.

Our contact centre is particularly busy at the moment so to avoid waiting in a queue to speak to us you can also reach us through our MyAster portal, via email, or via our call back system, which will hold your place in the queue and we’ll call you when you reach the front.

Many of our people, including our Contact Centre advisors, continue to work from home and juggle childcare and caring responsibilities while doing their best every day to support you at home.

We’re proud to be part of the Service with Respect campaign to make sure that all customer service workers are treated with respect while doing their job.

Once again, we’d like to thank you for your ongoing understanding and we’ll continue to stay in touch about our services in the coming weeks and months.

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