Coronavirus: Our response
There’s a lot of information about Coronavirus (COVID-19) in the news, and we understand that it may be concerning. Your safety and wellbeing, along with that of our staff, is our number one priority so we’re monitoring this situation daily and following up-to-date advice from Public Health England.
In line with government advice our offices have now closed and we are only carrying out emergency repairs and safety inspections
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In line with government advice we are only carrying out emergency repairs during this self isolation period
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We understand this can be a difficult time for our customers, click below for some advice on managing your finances
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The situation with Coronavirus is changing all the time, find out our latest developments here
Frequently asked questions
Here are some answers to our most frequently asked questions.
What should I do if I think have Coronavirus?
Please follow the NHS guidance if you think you have Coronavirus.
As per 17 March 2020, the advice is below.
If you or someone in your household has Coronavirus symptoms you should stay at home for 14 days. Symptoms of Coronavirus are:
- A high temperature – you feel hot to touch on your chest or back
- A new, continuous cough – you’ve started coughing repeatedly
If you live at one of our older persons schemes, please let a member of staff know as soon as possible and if you have any repairs or appointments booked in please contact us to rearrange.
What are Midland Heart doing to stop the spread of Coronavirus?
- Prioritising our cleaning schedules to make sure high risk areas like door handles and light switches are cleaned thoroughly every day in our schemes
- Asking all customers questions before booking in home visits to understand if they’re at risk of having Coronavirus
- Asking close family and friends to only visit residents if essential and where there's a group of you, consider if one person could visit instead
- Closing all shared areas in schemes, like lounges and restaurants, and offering a meal delivery service
- Closing our hot desking spaces within schemes to limit the number of people coming in and out of schemes
- Closing our offices and asking all staff, where possible, to work from home
What can I do to stop Coronavirus spreading?
- Wash your hands thoroughly and regularly with soap and water
- Avoid unnecessary contact such as shaking hands
- Stay at home as much as possible
- Limit visitors to your home
Will my repairs still be completed during this time?
In line with the Government’s advice we need to minimise non-essential residential visits and ensure our repairs operatives focus on essential repairs only.
As of Tuesday 24 March 2020, we’ll be carrying out only essential repairs as well as safety inspections. All routine repairs will be put on hold until the lockdown measures are eased enough for us to carry them out. To help us, please do not report any new routine repairs until further notice. You can read more here.
What will happen if Midland Heart has to close down due to Coronavirus?
We’ve got plans in place to help us to provide essential services in the event of a range of emergency situations, including pandemics.
If large numbers of staff can’t work due to illness, we may need to cut back on services while we focus on more urgent work but we’ll let you know if this is the case.
We’ve invested in our systems which means that many of our teams can work from home and provide our services as normal with no disruption.
If I’m sick and can’t pay my rent, or forget to pay, will my home be at risk?
We understand this is an unusual situation and you may have disruption to your normal routine. However, the government is putting in place lots of extra support and measures to help workers and those claiming benefits. You can find out more here.
As we’re being asked to spend less time in public places, like shops, we wanted to remind you that you can view and manage your rent account and contact us on our app. You can find out more information here.
We don’t believe housing benefit will be affected but if you’re concerned about your finances please get in touch with us and we’ll discuss any support you need on a case by case basis.
Don’t forget we have a money advice team who may be able to help. You can find out more here.
I need to send a legal Document to Midland Heart
In line with current government advice, our offices are closed. We're asking that any legal documentation or correspondence that needs to be sent to Midland Heart is emailed to LegalPostGroup@midlandheart.org.uk
We'll continue to review this position over the coming weeks and will update this page if anything changes.
Are gas and electrical safety checks still going ahead?
Yes, we'll continue to carry out our annual gas and electrical safety checks in your home. These checks are really important and save lives. We have a duty to keep you safe and will be continuing to carry out these safety checks and any urgent related repairs during this time.
We have put processes in place to ensure we keep you, your family and our staff safe. We will:
- Check if anyone in your home is self-isolating or has been in contact with someone who’s been diagnosed with Coronavirus before attending
- Ask you and your household to keep your distance and stay in another room whilst essential work is being carried out
- Wear protective clothing whilst in your home
- Wash hands with soap or use hand sanitiser before coming in and when leaving
- Advise you to wipe down all surfaces of the boiler and other appliances such as fires and cookers before and after any visit with a suitable antibacterial cleaner
If you have any questions about your essential safety check, please get in touch.
Is grass cutting and other grounds maintenance services still going ahead?
Yes our contractors will still be visiting our sites but they’ll be reducing to four weekly cuts until further notice. Our contractors will continue to respect social distancing guidelines and we’ll be following government guidance closely to ensure we’re keeping everyone as safe as possible.
What can I do if I see someone not following social distancing restrictions?
If someone is breaking the social restrictions in place, you can call 101 and report it to your local police force. You can also complete this online form and West Midlands Police will look into it further.
What's happening with complaints?
There will be unavoidable delays for us to deliver some agreed actions and services as a result of the Government imposed restrictions following the coronavirus pandemic, for example completing some responsive repairs. We will keep you informed about what these changes will be and the revised timescales however our usual service standards may not always be met. As this is outside of our control we will not being issuing compensation for delays where the sole reason for the delay is the coronavirus restrictions.
How can I get in touch with someone at Midland Heart?
You can get in touch with us the usual ways: