Call for information: Sheltered/retirement housing & Covid-19 - current practice and issues
In response to discussion with our members and to support the sector we have posted this thread on our discussion forum. It is designed to share learning and intelligence from organisations that are providing sheltered and retirement housing services, mainly for older people.
We will collate and analyse the responses to these discussion threads alongside our wider intelligence to inform future briefings for our members and to feed into discussions with Government officials.
Please post examples of your organisation’s current or emerging practice or concerns in relation to the following issues, in the light of the Government’s COVID-19 position and guidance published since Monday, 11 May. Please let us know about as many of these as are relevant to your organisation:
- Infection control and hygiene procedures
- PPE – what you are using and ease of procuring it
- Access to and use of testing for staff and residents/tenants
- Approaches to the use of communal spaces and applying social distancing
- Application of the current ‘shielding’ advice and effectiveness of local support arrangements for those who are ‘shielding’
- Cleaning arrangements and procedures in communal spaces
- Management of voids and lettings
- Maintenance and contractor arrangements
- Management of other visitors
- Changes to levels of on-site staffing presence
We are ordering and using PPE and of course our staff costs have risen substantially and yet there does not appear to be a clear mechanism for recouping these costs. Some Local Authorities have been much clearer for care homes, but only some but as most of our protfolio is housing it is a great concern to makes sure the extra government funding announced for the sector flows through and quickly.
Rochdale Boroughwide Housing are currently undertaking risk assessments in readiness for the gradual re introduction of scheme managers to schemes and the gradual re opening of communal spaces. Most of the PPE for our scheme managers has either come through our general stores or through some of our contractors furloughed staff making PPE for the NHS which we have been able to tap into. The scheme assistants cleaning service has concentrated on daily sanitised cleans to communal areas getting high usage such as the main entrance areas, communal corridors, lifts, and communal staircases and has included handrails, door handles, and switches. The risk assessments also look to remove excess furniture from communal spaces so furniture can be placed on marked floors to accommodate social distancing. We have accepted that the capacity of communal spaces is going to be reduced and therefore the accessibility of social inclusion at any one time for residents will also be more limited.