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Advice for residents: Coronavirus (COVID-19)

Residents’ queries

1. Advice for FirstPort residents

Updated: 12 April 2021

The health and safety of our residents, employees and contractors is always our priority.

We have carefully reviewed the guidance from government and industry bodies and we are responding to this in the way we manage your home.

The operational changes we have made in response to COVID-19 for the different type of homes we care for are detailed in sections 4-6.

From 12 April, step two of the Government’s four-step roadmap will see England restrictions start to lift further. The below table is an overview of our management approach:

Government Roadmap: Step two

Permanent on-site employees

(See section 3 for more information)

Employees will continue to work from developments.

Social distancing guidance will be followed at all times.

 

Visiting
Property Managers,
Area Managers and
Regional Managers

Property Managers will resume site inspections as they did before government restrictions were introduced.

Regional Managers will resume site visits as they did before government restrictions were introduced.

In retirement developments, Area Managers will conduct external visits only.

Social distancing guidance will be followed at all times.

Communal area cleaning, gardening, grounds maintenance and window cleaningThese services will carry on as they did before government restrictions were introduced.
Essential reactive maintenanceEssential services will continue to be undertaken, as they have done throughout the pandemic.
Major works projects

All major works projects will resume, but with some additional protocols in place to make sure we are working within government guidance.

In retirement developments, works will not re-start if they require a contractor to enter a resident’s apartment.

 

Approach in Wales: National restrictions apply in Wales and follow the same approach highlighted in the above table.

Approach in Scotland: National restrictions apply in Scotland. More information about our response can be found on the  FirstPort Scotland website.

We’d like to thank all our customers for their understanding over the last year and we look forward to returning to normal ways of working.

2. Customer services

Our customer support and property management teams are still here to help you. Some of our employees are working from home and you may experience a slower service at certain times of the day so to help with this, we’ve increased the size of our email team.

For non-urgent enquiries, the best way to reach our team is by email:

For Property Services customers, please email help@firstport.co.uk

For Bespoke customers, please email firstport.bespokehelp@firstport.co.uk 

For former BRAM customers, please email cscare@firstport.co.uk

For former Chamonix customers, please email chamonix@firstport.co.uk

For Retirement customers, please email retirementhelp@firstport.co.uk

3. Interacting with your neighbours and development staff

Despite restrictions easing, we must all follow social distancing guidance, which is that you stay two metres away from people not in your household, so we can keep everyone safe. We’ll make sure our staff and contractors remain vigilant too by always following social distancing measures when around residents, and by wearing PPE (i.e. face coverings) where it’s appropriate.

Our employees are aware that they must not come to work if they or anyone in their household is showing symptoms of Covid-19. They are strictly following social distancing guidance and, where possible, will try to avoid the use of public transport to travel to the development. This may impact their available hours at the development, but they will continue to be available as usual during working hours even if they are not on site.

 

4. For developments with communal facilities and/or site staff

This advice may vary depending on your development’s individual needs, please check in with your Property/Development Manager if you have any questions about your home.

  • Parcel delivery: These services will continue at your development as they did before government restrictions were introduced.
  • Bins & refuse collection: These services will continue at your development as they did before government restrictions were introduced.
  • Communal area cleaning, gardening, grounds maintenance and window cleaning: These services will continue at your development as they did before government restrictions were introduced.
    We’ll continue to keep developments in the best possible condition to stop any virus spreading. We have asked our cleaners to concentrate on high touch areas such as door handles, lift call buttons, and stair rails.
  • Lifts: Full repairs, maintenance and call-out service for lifts will be available.
  • Communal systems: Repairs to communal heating system will be completed as normal.
  • Gyms, swimming pools and recreational facilities:
    – At developments where we have site-based staff: Swimming pools and gyms are open. There are some changes to opening times and limits to the number of residents that can use these facilities at any one time to make sure we are following the latest government guidance. Where possible there is a booking system in place.
    There is also enhanced cleaning in place and one-way entrance and exit systems where possible.
    – At developments where there are no site-based staff: Unfortunately, pools and gyms remain closed at these developments. This is because we are not able to meet the enhanced cleaning and management requirements set out by the Government within the service charge budget. We are keeping this under review and will open them as soon as possible.
    – All saunas and steam rooms remain closed for the time being.
    – Parks and playgrounds are open. However, we have been asked to operate time restrictions by some local authorities. Where we don’t have site staff to manage this, we may need to close the facility. 
  • Essential reactive maintenance: Essential services will continue to be undertaken, as they have done throughout the pandemic.

If you need any further information about any of the above services at your development, please contact your Property or Development Manager.

5. For estates

All grounds maintenance and reactive services will continue at your development as they did before government restrictions were introduced.

If you need any further information about these services at your development, please contact your Estates Manager.

6. For retirement developments

  • We’ll continue to keep developments in the best possible condition to stop any virus from spreading. We have asked our cleaners to concentrate on high touch areas such as door handles, lift call buttons, and stair rails.
  • We’ve tweaked some of their duties in order to observe social distancing guidance, such as cancelling in-apartment services, but they continue to complete important development safety checks and daily checks on all our residents remotely from their office using the warden call system or telephone.  They are also on-hand to provide support and guidance to any residents who may be struggling.
  • We have a QR codes in place at developments so we can log any visitors.
  • We’ve helped residents to follow the Government’s social distancing guidance by closing our communal lounges and setting up Laundry room rotas.  We’ve also asked residents to only travel in development lifts with people within their households.
  • Residents can use communal gardens, but we ask that no more than six people or two households meet outside at the same time.

7. Useful information

Please refer to the links below for the most recent information from the Government and NHS about the Coronavirus situation in the UK.

The Government’s latest advice:

NHS latest advice: www.nhs.uk/coronavirus

Government travel advice: www.gov.uk/foreign-travel-advice

For customer services, please contact us as follows.  If your query is not urgent, please consider emailing the team instead on the appropriate address below and we’ll get back to you as soon as possible:

Property Services: help@firstport.co.uk or 0333 321 4080

Bespoke: firstport.bespokehelp@firstport.co.uk  or 0333 321 4045

Former BRAM customers: cscare@firstport.co.uk or 0333 0050 227

Former Chamonix customers: chamonix@firstport.co.uk or 0330 380 0595

Retirement: retirementhelp@firstport.co.uk or 0333 321 4041

Payments line: 0333 321 4079

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