For all the information about how your tenancy and how our services may alter during the coronavirus outbreak click here.
For support and advice on a range of topics, download our Melin Advice Covid-19 Guide.
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 14th May).
Update 1st June 2020
Following the latest Welsh Government announcement, we are currently reviewing how this could impact on the services we offer to residents. At present, all our services are still operating as described below, but we are now looking at how we can safely bring back on line a number of our repairs and maintenance services, whilst protecting our residents and staff.
Please check back on this web page regularly, we will update on service changes throughout June here.
How has Melin changed the service it provides to residents?Our current service status is as follows:
- Our offices are closed with all staff working at home.
- 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 email@example.com and your email will be forwarded to the most appropriate person.
- Our emergency line is open outside of these times, 01495 325333
- We are now only providing emergency repairs (see below) and safety critical inspection and testing services.
- Gas servicing is continuing as normal. It is really important that your boiler is inspected to make sure it is safe. Our staff will comply with social distancing rooms and where protective equipment where appropriate. Please see below for more details on how we are operating our gas servicing programme.
- Weekly fire alarm testing is continuing as normal, as are all our other safety critical inspections.
- As more of our residents are staying at home, we expect increased demand on heating and hot water systems, particularly in our sheltered and extra care schemes. To make sure everything continues to run as it should our engineers are making regular visits to sites. We've also stocked these sites with critical components so that we can fix things quickly if anything breaks.
- Our Grounds Maintenance Contracts will recommence on 1st May 2020. More information can be found below.
- Cleaners will still attend our schemes. Please see below for detailed service changes in this area.
- Window cleaning has resumed for general needs properties, and will resume for our schemes from 1st June.
- 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.
- 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
What emergency repairs are you 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.
Grounds Maintenance Service from 1st May 2020
On 1st May 2020, Melin will begin our annual grounds maintenance contract. It has been delayed allowing us to ensure that we can carry out this work safely; protecting our residents, staff and the wider public.
Our contractors will start with litter picking and weed spraying, followed by grass cutting.You will see our contractors on site working as normal. In most cases they will not be wearing any additional protective equipment, such as masks, as they will not be working within two meters of any of our residents. They will also be following all other Government guidance around good hygiene and social distancing.
We are confident that we are able to safely resume certain grounds maintenance services while complying with social distancing rules. Our staff will be working with our contractors closely to ensure that these works are undertaken in accordance with all Government guidance.
How has the cleaning service changed?
We will continue to undertake cleaning of communal areas at our schemes. However, our priority will be to control the spread of the virus.
- Normal rotas will be followed
- Cleaners will work alone and in communal areas only
- Communal lounges in schemes are closed and will not be cleaned
- The majority of cleaning time will be used to concentrate on the following areas:
- Door Handles
- Lift buttons
- Communal laundry
- Communal toilets
- Bin stores
- Other areas likely to be touched often
- Other tasks, such as vacuuming, will only be carried out when other tasks are complete and there is a clear need for this work.
We understand that this will result in some areas not being as clean as they normally would, but we believe that this is secondary to controlling the spread of the virus.
Even with these changes there is no substitute for washing your hands every time you have to leave your own home and pass through communal areas.
How are you safely undertaking gas services?
Most of our homes have an individual boiler that serves only one property. Most of these will also have a time clock fitted. This means that once the date of your annual gas service has passed your heating and hot water will stop working. This means that even during this difficult time we will have to attend your home to undertake the service and reset the time clock. Government guidance still requires Melin to undertake this safety critical check. We will only undertake the core work of the gas service and this has reduced the time that we have to spend in your home.
When we do attend we want to reassure you that we are taking every step we can to ensure the safety of you and our staff.
When we attend, we will follow this safe working procedure
- A member of our team will have contacted you to arrange a date for the service, 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. Suitable PPE will range from gloves and a mask through to more extreme levels of protection in the form of a respirator and full body suite. You can see more details below.
- On the day of the appointment we will 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 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 the 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 is 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.