Coronavirus Customer Update

The Coronavirus (COVID-19) virus in the UK is currently being monitored closely by Public Health England and the UK Government has confirmed we are in the ‘containment’ phase.

The situation is being closely monitored by Equity and we will continually review our plans to deliver our services to you, updating them based on evolving national guidance, to provide business continuity for our customers whilst managing the health and safety of our residents, colleagues and communities where we work. At present we are aiming to continue to deliver business as usual, but have introduced some additional measures and will update you further should these arrangements change.

You can help prevent the spread of infection by washing your hands regularly with soap and water.

Here is a reminder of the symptoms of the virus:

  • A cough
  • A high temperature
  • Shortness of breath

If you or any of your close family/friends start to display symptoms of this illness, please call 111.

If you do feel unwell with these symptoms or if you or your family have recently travelled and returned from an affected country

Please visit 111 online - https://111.nhs.uk/service/COVID-19/ this can be used to log concerns and is an alternative to using the phone lines, which are currently receiving high volumes of calls throughout the day.

If you are self-isolating or have a confirmed diagnosis, it’s really important that you let us know so we can plan accordingly please contact us on 0300 123 4460. Please be advised that this information will be held confidentially to allow us to plan the delivery of services and minimise the spread of the disease.

To protect everyone from infection colleagues from Equity will be making additional checks with customers when making appointments and visiting you to identify if there are any risks to themselves or the wider public. This is a precautionary measure to help prevent the spread of infection in line with Government advice.

Repairs Update:

In conjunction with Fortem we are continuing to review our response to both emergency and routine repairs. We have a duty of care not only to our customers but also to the operatives carrying out these repairs.

Fortem are continuing to deliver our repairs service to customers as normal. However, those customers who have identified as being affected by the virus and are self-isolating, will receive an emergency service only.

A full risk assessment of each emergency repair will be carried out prior to entering the customer’s home, to ensure all Fortem operatives are also kept safe. If it is deemed unsafe to enter the home to carry out the repair, alternative measures will be put in to place to help mitigate the risks until the repair can be safely carried out.

The welfare of our customers is paramount and we will continue to do what we can to support you during these difficult times.

Customers living in an Equity sheltered scheme:

We have increased the cleaning provision within your scheme to ensure cleaning processes are regularly carried out to reduce the risk of the spread of the virus amongst customers and their visitors. We have displayed a number of advice posters around the scheme, advising customers of the best practice when washing their hands and coming in to contact with others.

You may also have noticed your Retirement Living Co-ordinator has been spending less time at the scheme. We have been following the latest government guidance with regards to the virus, which advises that where possible people should work from home, again to reduce the risk of the virus spreading further.

Colleagues will still be present to carry out scheme inspections during the week and will still be maintaining daily contact. Morning calls, will still be carried out by your Retirement Living Co-ordinator, for those customers that normally receive a home visit this will now happen in the form of a phone call or through your intercom system, rather than a door knock.

This again is to mitigate the risk of the virus spreading amongst customers.

If you have concerns, please contact either your Retirement Living Co-ordinator or call our Customer Solutions Team on 0300 123 4460.

If you cannot work due to Coronavirus and are eligible for Statutory Sick Pay you will get it from day one, rather than from the fourth day of your illness.

If you cannot work due to the virus:

If you cannot work due to Coronavirus and are eligible for Statutory Sick Pay you will get it from day one, rather than from the fourth day of your illness.

This rule will apply from 13 March 2020. Statutory Sick Pay will be payable if you are staying at home on Government advice, not just if you are infected by Coronavirus. If you need to provide evidence to your employer that you need to stay at home due to Coronavirus, you will soon be able to get it from NHS 111 Online instead of having to get a Fit Note from your doctor.

If you are not eligible to receive sick pay you can apply for Universal Credit and/or apply for New Style Employment and Support Allowance. You can also apply for these if you are prevented from working because of a risk to public health.

Armitt House closure:

This rule will apply from 13 March 2020. Statutory Sick Pay will be payable if you are staying at home on Government advice, not just if you are infected by Coronavirus. If you need to provide evidence to your employer that you need to stay at home due to Coronavirus, you will soon be able to get it from NHS 111 Online instead of having to get a Fit Note from your doctor.

If you are not eligible to receive sick pay you can apply for Universal Credit and/or apply for New Style Employment and Support Allowance. You can also apply for these if you are prevented from working because of a risk to public health.

In-line with the most up-to-date government advice, we will be closing Armitt House to colleagues and customers from 5pm on Tuesday 17 March. Contact details remain the same for customers, these can be found on our website via our contact us pages, alternatively you can contact our Customer Solutions Team on 0300 123 4460 or email customersolutions@equityhousing.co.uk

Following recent advice from the government, we have now decided that it is an appropriate time to close SK Eight to help mitigate the spread of the virus and those risks associated with having large numbers of people in close proximity to each other.

This is not a decision we have taken lightly, and as soon as we are in a position to reopen - we will let customers know.

SK Eight coffee shop:

Our in-house estate agency will also be closed from 5pm on Tuesday 17 March. The team are still working remotely and can still be contacted by calling 0161 486 7700 or emailing sales@equityliving.co.uk

Equity Living Estate Agency:

Alternatively, please visit their website at www.equityliving.co.uk

If you have changed your phone number or email address recently, please contact us on 0300 123 4460 to make sure we have the correct contact information on our system. This will help to ensure you receive all communications as quickly as possible.

Contact details changes:

For further information on Coronavirus you can access Government guidance at:
https://www.gov.uk/guidance/coronavirus-covid-19-information-for-the-public