Lifting Of Covid Related Restrictions – Resuming Our Services

As you will be aware, on the 18 April the Scottish Government lifted all the legal restrictions relating to COVID-19 protective measures at a national level.

Like so many organisations, under the instructions from the Scottish Government, we closed our office doors and asked our staff to work from home over 2 years ago. Our staff have worked tirelessly to ensure the services and support our tenants required was provided during this time. We would like to thank you all once again for your continued patience and valuable feedback during this difficult period.

The lifting of restrictions has allowed us to transition back to doing most of the things we enjoy which help our mental and physical wellbeing. We appreciate, however, that for some people, the lifting of restrictions may also present a degree of anxiety. The coronavirus outbreak has been hard for us all, and we have all been impacted in different ways. If you are feeling anxious about the recent changes, you may also find it helpful to access the follow NHS guide on ‘Getting Back to Normal’ which can be accessed by visiting https://www.nhs.uk/every-mind-matters/coronavirus/tips-to-cope-with-anxiety-lockdown-lifting/

What do the changes mean for our customers? 

We are now in a position to fully resume our services. We will continue to follow Scottish Government guidance regarding isolation and have implemented our own safety measures to make sure that our customers and staff are kept as safe as possible.

Whilst we are allowed to now return to a form of normality, we are reminded that Covid-19 is still with us.  While we learn to live with Covid-19 our safe working procedures are as important as ever. 

Here are some common questions and answers: 

Q. Are the offices open fully again?

A. Our Cordale office in West Dunbartonshire is currently open on a Tuesday and Thursday. Our Perth and Dundee offices remain closed as we continue to evaluate our new ways of working. 

This decision follows on from our December 2021 tenant consultation where it was agreed to continue to review hybrid working arrangements for staff. Even before covid there was not a great number of customers who came to our offices, and most who did made an appointment in advance.  We don’t anticipate a surge in customers wanting to visit the offices, especially as we are working more at a community level so that our team members visit customers at home or within another Caledonia location.  However, we will be keeping this under review and will keep customers updated with any changes. 

Q. Can I arrange a face to face appointment with a member of staff?

A. Yes, customers can make appointments to meet with a staff member at a time and location convenient to both parties. Please contact the staff member directly or make contact via one of the contact methods below.

Q. Are there any restrictions to meeting with staff, visiting offices or retirement/very sheltered housing complexes?

A. We kindly ask that no one displaying covid symptoms attends appointments with staff or visits one of our offices or retirement/very sheltered housing complexes.  If visiting us at one of our sites, you will have to be distance aware and use the sanitiser provided. To help us keep our most vulnerable safe, staff are continuing to wear face masks in our very sheltered housing complexes.

Q. Will staff still be available to contact each working day?

A. Yes, all staff will still be working their normal contracted hours. Our Customer Services Team are available from 9am – 5pm Monday to Thursday and 9am – 4pm on Fridays.

Our out of hours service continues to be available from Monday to Thursday 5pm – 9am, and Friday 4pm – 9am.

As we ease back to normality, tenants will start to see more staff, mainly Neighbourhood and Maintenance Officers, on site at their Estate or Scheme. To find out when your Neighbourhood Officer will be on site please contact them directly. We also hope to restart our Estate Walkabouts in the near future, more details to be announced shortly.

Q. How can I contact staff?

A.  There are a range of contact methods for getting in touch including:

Your Neighbourhood Officer is also available to help with enquiries about your tenancy, repairs or your rent account.

Q. Are Scheme Managers on site in Retirement and Very Sheltered Housing Complexes?

A. Our Retirement Scheme Managers returned to their full on-site working hours in August 2021. Before returning every Retirement Scheme Manager received appropriate covid safety training and is required to adhere to covid safety measures to keep both tenants and visitors safe. Our Very Sheltered housing complexes have continued to be fully staffed throughout the pandemic. 

Q. Are Communal Lounges in use?

A. Our communal lounges are fully open for use. Infection control measures and risk assessments are in place. It has been lovely to see the lounges filling up and tenants enjoying events and activities again. If you would like to know more about planned events and activities or you have any ideas, please speak to your Scheme Manager.

Q. Are the Maintenance and Repairs services up and running running?

During the past 24 months we have worked closely with our contractors to ensure that there has been a functioning repairs service, so that firstly emergency repairs could be undertaken. More recently the full repairs service has been resumed including all repairs and our planned maintenance projects. Once again, thank you for your patience as we have worked through the backlog and navigated access to properties through the different restriction levels.