Wednesday 13th October 2021
Author: Karen Homer, Communications Manager, Amey
Teams on our National Housing Prime contract are working closely with the Defence Infrastructure Organisation (DIO) and our supply chain partners across the country to keep Service family homes warm and well maintained this winter.
As the pandemic restrictions are reduced, the safety of our customers and employees remains our highest priority. Amey and DIO continue to regularly review joint working practices and procedures to ensure we are delivering a safe housing, maintenance and repair service to Service properties across the UK.
Our workforce are kept informed with the latest HSE and Government guidelines and are ready to action any changes that arise quickly and efficiently. All understand the requirements when entering occupied Service Family Accommodation (SFA) and have committed to following any necessary working practices before entering military homes.
If any household members have tested positive for COVID-19 or are self-isolating it’s vital that we are alerted beforehand so the appointment can be rescheduled for when the self-isolation period has ended. We all have a responsibility to keep each other safe and our short film explains how essential gas and electrical checks and other routine visits will be managed during these unprecedented times.
Following government guidelines September 2021 our Defence customer service advisors, occupancy services and complaints management functions are beginning to return to the office environment on a hybrid model (two days in work and three days working from home). This supports the government guidance and also the wellbeing of our people. Our Local Customer Service Advisors are also returning to the office but will also continue to provide personal support via emails and phone calls.
Preparing for the winter months
With winter just around the corner, our teams are focusing on helping occupants prepare their homes for the winter ahead. We will be sharing our winter campaign page and offering some self-help and guidance on common issues such as how to avoid frozen pipes, boiler issues and blockages in gutters and drains.
Our supply chains partners are leading on pre-winter briefings to refresh engineers on customer expectations, the importance of communication between us and our customers, and managing follow on works. We have weekly calls to ensure they are fully briefed on the winter plans, relevant actions complete and are clear on the five day forecast to ensure resources are deployed effectively in line with our business continuity plans.
Temporary heater stocks have been checked to ensure they can meet demand and heaters will be kept in local storage on isolated estates. We’ll be working with welfare teams to implement a process for them to issue heaters to families if the site becomes inaccessible for engineers and properties without heating will be tracked daily to make sure families aren’t left in the cold for too long. We want to ensure that, should our customers need them, we have enough products in the right place at the right time to satisfy demand and make sure customers are not left without proper cooking and heating facilities.
We have reviewed our parts management processes and recognise that due to the changing landscape of the pandemic, some products will be in shorter supply than normal meaning that certain repairs may take slightly longer than usual. However, we have improved and agreed the communication channels between affected families and our supply chain so that issues can be quickly resolved.
Equipment and tools have also been checked and grit bins are in the process of being checked and refilled by the end of October to ensure roads and pavements serving the estates are well maintained and kept safe.
We are confident that following the challenges of COVID-19 and the unknown COVID-19 challenges ahead, our teams will continue to demonstrate their commitment to military families in ensuring our service delivery remains consistent, especially during the upcoming winter months.
There are a number of ways you can contact our customer service centre to rearrange appointments. To choose the option that’s right for you please visit our Contact Us page.
See also: Housing and Accommodation