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Coronavirus: a service update from our chief executive

25 March, 2020

As you will be aware, the coronavirus outbreak is affecting organisations’ internal and external operations up and down the country, and for us at Salix Homes, it’s no different.

In these fast changing and uncertain times, we wanted to reassure you that the health and safety of our colleagues and customers is of the utmost importance to us and we are working tirelessly to ensure that we are working in the best interests of our staff and the communities in which we serve.

We are constantly reviewing the government’s ever evolving advice and adapting our procedures and services accordingly. Following the latest strict social distancing advice last night, we are now having to make significant temporary changes to our services to ensure that there is help and support for our most vulnerable customers, whilst limiting social contact.

In line with Government guidance, the majority of our office-based staff are now working from home to try to minimise their contact with others. As a result, we have further reviewed our frontline services and are reluctantly having to take the following additional measures to those we have already made to support the national advice and reduce the spread of infection:

  • Our reception service will remain closed until further notice.
  • Our repairs service will now cover emergency and essential urgent repairs only. Please be advised that if we do need to visit your home, our colleagues will need to step back at least two meters when you answer the door and if undertaking a repair, will politely ask you if you can base yourself in a separate room whilst the repair takes place.
  • Our caretaking and environmental services will now operate a reduced service, whilst ensuring we stay on top of any spillages, support the removal of fly-tipping where possible and importantly making sure our buildings remain safe and secure.

We have also been informed that our contactor partners are significantly reducing their services in line with government advice which will mean the temporary postponement to some of our improvement work. If you currently have improvement work taking place in your building, we will be contacting you in the coming days with an update.

I would like to reassure you that a number of our other services are running as normal to the best of our ability at the moment, however most will be delivered via the phone or over e-mail as we aim to minimise social contact. We also have a number of colleagues who are now unable to deliver some front line services, supporting other teams, particularly in our commitment to contact and help our most vulnerable residents.

We are also one of a number of Salford organisations signed up to the Spirit of Salford Network, providing targeted support to vulnerable residents across the city. If you are vulnerable yourself, or know anyone who is over 70 years old or with underlying health conditions in need of additional support, they can contact a new freephone helpline 0800 952 1000, launched today by the partnership. You can also visit www.salford.gov.uk/spiritofsalford.

The situation is now changing daily, so please be assured that we are monitoring this closely and any decisions about changes to our operations will be considered always with our colleagues and customers best interests at heart. As we adapt to this different way of working together, it’s inevitable that there may be some further disruptions to services. We appreciate your patience and understanding at this difficult time for everyone concerned.

We will publish any further changes on our website www.salixhomes.org/coronavirus-information and on our social media channels.

Kind regards

Lee Sugden
Chief Executive, Salix Homes