Coronavirus (Covid -19) update – October 2020

London is now entering Tier 2  risk level of controls to try and slow the spread of COVID 19 infection. You can read about the Governments guidance and restrictions that apply to Tier 2  by clicking the link https://www.gov.uk/guidance/local-covid-alert-level-high

We appreciate how hard this period is for our tenants, their families and loved ones. We have had to make a lot of changes to our services in order to minimise the risk of cross infection to you and to our staff. We have changed our priorities and how we keep in touch with you during this time.

HCHA HEAD OFFICE IS CLOSED

Please be assured that we are still here and all of the ‘back office’ work is still going ahead as before. If you need to contact us call 0208 424 2776 for the latest contact information or email info@HCHA.org.uk who will forward your enquiry to the most appropriate available person.

Sheltered and Extra Care Housing

We know it is hard not to be able to meet up in your communal lounges if they are closed off. We will reconsider this when the Government announces that people can gather together safely inside. At the time of writing this is not permitted.

If you are worried about anything call our staff or pull the orange chord in your home. DO NOT DELAY.

Respect our Space

Please respect our space:  the 2m distance guidance is there for a very good reason. Because you can pass on the virus before you know that you have it, you could otherwise pass it on to one of our vulnerable tenants during your visit.

What have we been doing?

In light of the above measures:

  • We have been phoning as many of our tenants as possible to check their wellbeing, help them access services and day to day needs and give them advice.
  • We have tried to complete emergency repairs as normal but the timing, nature of the repair and ability to deliver that service will be dependent on a number of factors may be out of our control, however we will do our very best to assist you.
  • Contractors and our staff cannot enter the home of anyone who may have a member of the family self-isolating, symptomatic, instructed by a contact tracer or who is registered as a shielded person under the new protections for very high risk people.
  • If you have an emergency repair we may ask you some very personal questions about your contact with the virus. We know that this might seem very intrusive but it is vital to protect you, your neighbours and family, as well as our staff.

How can we help?

  • If you live alone and become unwell please stay home but do tell us.
  • If you are worried about a neighbour who is on their own do let us know.
  • Please ask non-essential visitors at our sheltered housing and Extra Care schemes not to enter the building, meet up outside if at all possible.
  • Let us know if you have a non-urgent repair. We still need to keep a record so that when we can help we will know that you have been waiting.
  • Let us know if you need other services – we can’t help if we don’t know.
  • Follow the guidance. If it confuses you, please feel free to ask our staff.
  • Please tell us if you are clinically extremely vulnerable (known as shielded).

A reminder about hygiene that helps

  • Wash your hands for at least 20 seconds and dry thoroughly or use sanitiser for the same amount of time regularly, especially before leaving and on returning to your home.
  • Catch coughs and sneezes with disposable tissues. Throw away the used tissues and then wash your hands.
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth with unwashed hands.
  • Keep your distance from others (2m or three paces) – whether they’re well or unwell.
  • Arrange to meet others outside not inside.

Other information that may help you

The Samaritans can be contacted confidentially and free on 116 123 24 hours a day, you can also email them or download their self help app https://www.samaritans.org/how-we-can-help/contact-samaritan/

For older people The Silver Line offers a free confidential helpline 0800 470 8090 open 24 hours. https://www.thesilverline.org.uk/

If you are shielding and need practical help then the letter you received from the NHS will have a helpline number on it. Please call that or your local council helpline. There are volunteers waiting to help you.

If you need practical help you can contact local Covid Mutal aid groups within your local area. These are independent groups operating in your area. You can find them here https://covidmutualaid.org/

Scams: If you are contacted by NHS Testing Contact Tracers they will never ask for your bank details. Citizens Advice has some advice here about current scams and how to report concerns https://www.citizensadvice.org.uk/consumer/scams/reporting-a-scam/

Latest Government Guidance is available here https://www.gov.uk/coronavirus