As you will be aware we enter a firebreak lockdown from 6pm on Friday 23rd October until 12:01am Monday 9th November 2020.
During this time we are still here for you and carrying out emergency and Tier 1 repairs. Tier 2 and 3 repairs will be suspended. Our phone lines continue to remain busy – did you know there are lots of ways you can contact us email email@example.com, live chat via our website, or you can message us on Facebook or Twitter. The safety of our residents and staff remains our top priority. If an area we work in is placed under further restrictions, then we will post updates here and on our social media channels to inform you of any changes to our service provision.
The Welsh Government is taking action to make sure help and support is available when you need it, right across Wales.
Julie James, The Minister for Housing and Local Government has sent a letter to reassure residents, we have published that letter here [PDF].
For up-to-date info on which of our services are available, check out our service status PDF (updated 23rd October).
Update 11th September 2020
Welsh Government announced that further restrictions can now be lifted and this means that Melin can start to deliver more services to our residents.Our current service status is as follows:
- Our offices are closed to the public and visitors.
- Our Customer Contact Team is open to deal with all enquiries. Our opening ours are now 9am to 5pm, Monday to Friday.
- If you need to contact anyone in Melin please use firstname.lastname@example.org and your email will be forwarded to the most appropriate person.
- Our emergency line is open outside of these times, 01495 325333
Repairs and Maintenance
- Gas servicing is continuing as normal.
- We will still attend all emergency repairs. Please see below for more information on what we consider an emergency repair.
- We have placed all outstanding repairs into a tier system of 1-4 and have started contacting residents who fall into Tier 1 and Tier 2. Please be assured that our staff will follow safe working practices, and although things will look a little different your safety and that of our staff is our highest priority.
- When staff visit please follow the two metre social distancing guidelines and regularly wash your hands.
- If you are shielding or have developed any symptoms of Covid-19 please tell our Customer Contact Team when they contact you.
Please be patient with our teams as due to the unprecedented times we understandably have a backlog. All our teams are working extra hard right now to reduce the number of repairs that have built up due to lockdown.
They will be in touch with you, and we thank you for your understanding in these difficult times. If we had to cancel your repair during lockdown and it falls under a Tier 1 repair, we will contact you as a priority.
How we have classed Tier 1 repairs
Tier 1 repairs are not classed an emergency but are an essential repair.
Tier 1 (A)
This type of repair if not investigated or left unrectified has the potential to develop into a more serious issue which could:
- Cause damage to the property;
- Cause damage to a major component(s) of the property;
- Develop into a health and safety issue;
- Be a risk of increasing transmission of Covid-19 – for example ventilation reduces transmission, so if you needed a repair to an extraction fan in the property, if we are able to we would aim to fix it.
Other repairs that could fall into this category are repairs in rooms or areas of the property that we can access directly from an external door (front, back, or side) these could be:
- A general repair of short duration;
- An electrical, gas or plumbing repair;
- A security issue (door or window)
- An external repair which meets an essential repair listed in Tier 1 (A) and will be subject to staff availability.
Repairs listed under Tier 1 (A and B) will be assessed to minimise the time residents and staff are in face to face contact and we can complete them without accessing habitable rooms, for example the living room and bedrooms.
Tier 2 – How we have classed Tier 2 repairs
A Tier 2 repair is not classified as an emergency or a priority essential repair but could develop into an essential repair if left unrectified for an extended period.
Tier 2 repairs can be completed safely when following suitable measures and guidance we have put in place. The repair needs to be accessed directly from an external door and be a repair of short duration. For example, some of the Tier 2 repairs could include:
- Gas and Plumbing – boiler repairs following service or leaks to a part of your boiler.
- Electrical – minor electrical repairs or we need to carry out our five year assessment of your electrical system (EICR test)
- Multi Trade – repair to your door or window
- Grounds maintenance services are operating as normal.
- Window Cleaning is operating as normal, except that no internal windows are being cleaned.
- Weekly fire alarm testing is continuing as normal, as are all our other safety critical inspections.
- Our cleaning contractors are continuing to operate as normal. We are paying special attention to high touch points such as handrails, door handles and lift buttons.
- We are installing hand sanitiser stations in all our sheltered and extra care schemes, and our direct rental blocks of flats as an additional measure. However, you should still continue to regularly wash your hands.
Lettings and allocations
- We are continuing to work on and let properties to support those in high housing need. We are also working our other empty properties, following social distancing and PPE guidance. We are doing this to make sure that we have properties ready for people to move in once restrictions are relaxed.
- If we do need to arrange a letting with you, we will explain everything over the phone beforehand.
- In our sheltered schemes and extra care schemes communal lounges and activity areas will be closed. Communal laundries will remain open, some schemes already have a rota system in place, others don’t and so we ask that you take sensible approach to ensure that everyone is able to do their laundry using precautions to limit the use of the laundry to one resident.
- Our Scheme Managers are all now working from home. If you need to contact them please do so through the Customer Contact Team.
Which emergency repairs we are attending
- Water leaks from the domestic plumbing system where the flow of water cannot be controlled.
- Gas leaks or suspected gas leaks.
- Suspected carbon monoxide.
- Severe water penetration, causing the home to flood.
- Water leaks penetrating electric sockets and light fittings.
- Serious electrical faults.
- Complete light failure in shared areas.
- Insecure ground floor, outside doors or locks.
- Breakdown of heating where you have no other form of heating.
- Blocked or leaking drains or sinks in flat blocks, where there is a risk of flooding.
- No useable toilet due to a fault or blockage.
- Attendance with emergency services, when requested
When we contact to arrange your repair, we will compete the following checks
A member of our team will have contacted you to arrange a date for the service or repair, or you may have contacted our office to arrange appointment.
- We will ask you some background information such as is anyone in the household is shielding (12 weeks), self-isolating from contact, experiencing symptoms or diagnosed with Covid-19 by a health practitioner.
- All appointments are risk assessed in line with our Health and Safety provisions and Government guidance.
- Following the background information you provide we may recommend deferring the appointment to a date after the period of safe isolation of the household or if felt that the appointment is low risk our staff will use the appropriate level of personnel protective equipment to safeguard both you and our themselves. You can see more details below.
When we attend, we will follow this safe working procedure:
- On the day of the appointment:
- We ask you to clear the area of the repair, for example; if relating to boiler service or electrical socket the worktop is clear of appliances and household goods;
- We will also ring you to check that you are feeling well, answer any concerns and to tell you we are on our way.
- On arriving outside the property we will give you another call and ask you to:
- Open the front door
- Make a clear path to the area of the repair, for example; boiler, gas meter and airing cupboard and access to smoke alarms
- Maintain social distancing by staying in another room or area of the property while our engineer completes the essential works.
- Our engineers have a supply of antibacterial gels and wipes and will wipe down the work area before and after we have completed the work.
- During a gas service, as a minimum our engineer will service the boiler, test the gas meter, reset the time clock and check smoke alarms.
- Our engineer will let you know when they have finished we and will ask that although we have cleaned the work area that you do it again once our engineer has left.
- We will decontaminate or dispose of any protective equipment we have used in accordance with guidelines and our safe systems of works.
- Our engineers will disinfect their tools and hands as directed by our safe systems of work.
- The service paper work will be forwarded to you by email or post. You just need to let us know which method you would prefer.
- If you have any concerns please call us on 01495 745910. We understand this is a worrying time, but we are taking every precaution possible.
If you are in a vulnerable group and have been advised by the Government to shield for three months please contact us to let us know. We will discuss the best option to keep you safe. Please remember, if your home has a time clock fitted we will need to visit to reset this equipment to make sure that you have heating and hot water.
If you are unable to make an appointment because of isolation or illness we will be happy to rearrange your appointment in 14 days’ time once the high risk period is over.
Personal Protective Equipment (PPE)
Melin is taking every step we possibly can to keep our staff and residents safe during this difficult time. We will only visit you at home if we really need to. If we do need to visit, most likely to undertake a gas service, we will make sure that our staff wear the most appropriate PPE.
The photographs below show one of our engineers wearing the different levels of protection.
Disposable Gloves, Hand Gel and Wipes
Within residents’ homes
Disposable gloves, hand gel, wipes, disposable mask – though we may use a full face mask or hood as an alternative to a disposable mask
Within residents’ home with no one showing symptoms
Disposable gloves, or coveralls, over shoes, disposable mask – though we may use a full face mask or hood as an alternative to a disposable mask
Self isolating resident with symptoms or resident within 14 day recovery period.
Disposable gloves, coverall including hood, over shoes, goggles, filter mask.
Resident known to be suffering from COVID-19
Within infected residents’ home only
Disposable gloves, coverall, over shoes, full face respirator
Resident known to be suffering from COVID-19
Within infected residents’ home only.
How you can help us?
Everyone is being very understanding of the changes that we are having to make. We know that repairs are important to you and we will catch up with repairs as soon as we are able.
If you have an emergency repair or are due a gas service and we have to visit you, please ensure that you follow good hygiene practices, like washing your hands regularly and wiping down hard surfaces that we may come into contact with before we visit. We would ask that you do not stay in the same room as our operative if at all possible.
If you are in the specific group announced by the Government that has a health condition that means you should have no social contact for 12 weeks, please phone us on 01495 745910 so we can make specific arrangements to keep your home safe.
The situation in the UK is changing very fast. We would ask that you keep yourself up to date with the latest Government guidance and follow it as best you can. You should also check our website and social media regularly as we will give updates on any changes that we have to make in the coming days. You can stay up to date by visiting this page on the Government website and follow Aneurin Bevan Health Board on Facebook.