Frequently Asked Questions
Below are responses to some questions you may have about COVID-19 and what you should do as you are living in a property either owned or managed by Bield.
What is COVID-19
A coronavirus is a type of virus. As a group, coronaviruses are common across the world. COVID-19 is a new strain of coronavirus which was first identified in Wuhan City, China in January 2020.
The incubation period of COVID-19 is currently believed to be between 2 to 14 days. The incubation period is the time between someone being exposed to an infection and developing symptoms. This means that if a person remains well 14 days after return from a risk area or contact with someone with confirmed coronavirus, they have almost certainly not been infected.
Please contact the Government’s wed site for the most recent information
Transmission of COVID-19 is most likely to happen when there is close contact (within 2 metres or less) with an infected person. It is likely that the risk of infection transmission increases the longer someone has close contact with an infected person. Respiratory secretions, from the coughs and sneezes of an infected person, are most likely to be the main means of infection transmission.
There are two main ways COVID-19 can be spread:
- Directly; from close contact with an infected person (within 2 metres) where respiratory secretions can enter the eyes, mouth, nose or airways. This risk increases the longer someone has close contact with an infected person who has symptoms.
- Indirectly; by touching a surface, object or the hand of an infected person that has been contaminated with respiratory secretions and then touching own mouth, nose, or eyes.
The advice Bield is giving is in line with Health Protection Scotland and the NHS. This is advice is subject to change, but in the meantime, we are doing all we can to prevent the spread of COVID-19 and other respiratory infections, including:
- Additional and frequent cleaning and disinfection of frequently touched surfaces (e.g. hand rails, door handles, light switches, table surfaces).
- Signage in each development to promote hand hygiene, ensuring that everyone has access to hand washing facilities and is encouraged to use these.
- As far as possible limiting the number of visitors to those providing care or to help a vulnerable person. In line with Government guidance this is only possible if carers are well and have no symptoms like a cough of high temperature and nobody in your household does, they are under 70, not pregnant and don’t have any long-term health conditions. Please refer to the Government guidance for the most recent advice and full information.
- Mobilising our volunteers to assist us to provide additional services to our tenants.
- THINK campaign
Think – do you really need to visit today?
Help us to keep our customers safe.
Is there another way you could communicate with your relative/friend?
Not everyone shows symptoms right away, can you be sure you are ok?
Keep us all safe and follow social distancing guidance.
Please contact the NHS web-site for the most recent information.
The NHS guidance is that if you've developed a cough or fever in the last 7 days, stay at home for 7 days from the day your symptoms started and please contact either the development manager or BR24 so they understand the situation. You should also contact your GP or NHS 24 if you have shortness of breath and difficulty breathing, if your condition becomes worse during the 7 days you are at home, or if your health has not improved after 7 days.
Please contact the NHS web-site for the most recent information.
Changes to your development
In line with the latest public health advice, the development lounges are closed.
Due to the restrictions on social gatherings all our dining rooms are closed. For those customers who have a meal service the meals will be delivered to your home. Where we have capacity, this service will be offered to vulnerable people where a meal service is provided.
No as the Government advice is that you should not meet others, even friends or family, in a social capacity, as this will increase the likelihood of infection spreading.
Please contact the Government’s wed site for the most recent information.
From 23rd March 2020 we will be temporarily closing all of our guest rooms. This is to limit the number of new people coming into a development with the aim of limiting the potential spread of infection. The guest rooms may also be needed for emergency situations and so will need to be available. If you have family or friends due to stay in one of our guest rooms on or after this date, please could you advise them of this situation.
Whilst we do not want our customers to become isolated, the Government’s advice is that you should be self-isolating and limiting your visitors to those providing personal care or support.
We recognise that for many of our customer’s, health professionals and carers play a vital role. These staff will comply with infection control procedures as required. Bield will not restrict access to developments for these professionals, but requests that everyone visiting a development takes recommended hygiene actions to prevent the incidence or spread of infection.
This would be very difficult to do as the times which staff are on-site vary and so there will be significant periods of time when there is no onsite staff presence. Using other methods, such as requesting visitors to sign in and out would also increase the chance of contamination and infection. Therefore we will not try to keep a record of visitors to developments.
For your own safety and for your friends you must avoiding being in close proximity and always stay 2 metres (6ft) away from other people at all times. Consider communicating by telephone or other means.
As the COVID-19 virus continues to spread, BR24 will still be available to contact and will provide any assistance they are able to. However, we may experience higher levels of absence both at local developments and in our BR24 centre. BR24 may also be dealing with a higher number of calls than usual, so there is likely to be a need to reduce the level of non-urgent calls being received. As a result we will need to reduce the number of door opening requests to developments, therefore we have change the door opening and closing times to enable health and social care professionals to have ease of access to carry out their work. As a security precaution, please ensure your front door is locked.
Bield staff are affected and we are following Government advice that staff are working from home where possible. We are anticipating that the numbers of essential staff available will reduce due to self-isolation and we are asking other employees to assist in your developments as a temporary measure. All employees will wear their photographic Bield ID badge, so if you are unsure of who someone is, please ask to see their badge.
We are reaching out to our volunteer network to support staff at our developments and this will be done in accordance with the general Government guidelines so not to increase the risk of infection.
If you have developed symptoms of COVID-19 and have been advised to self-isolate, then local staff will work with you to make arrangements, so you are able to continue receiving meals in your home.
We will be working with other agencies to provide support for meal provision.
If you are having difficulties with grocery shopping, then please contact your local manager or Housing Officer and we will help you to access local shopping services. As well as mobilising our volunteer network to assist where they can, we are also working with local community groups and volunteer agencies to identify how they can assist our customers too.
Tel: 0131 273 4000
The laundry in your development will not be closed. However, to limit the potential for unnecessary contact you may be advised that laundry rotas are being put in place and these will need to be observed. It is important that where relevant, carers have priority use of the laundry in the morning as they may need to respond to more people than usual.
Lifts should only be accessed by individuals from the same household, due to the small space available. Please do not enter the lift if there is another individual inside, wait until this is free before entering. We understand that this may result in a longer wait, however, will enable you to maintain a safe social distance.
Yes. All of the PPE being provided is recommended by Health Protection Scotland and the Scottish Government. No protection is required for our staff as they move around the development as tenants respect social distancing. However, when cleaning, delivering meals and providing care increasing levels of PPE including plastic aprons and gloves, with masks used in some circumstances. Our staff are fully briefed when to use the appropriate PPE.
Bield has purchased reusable masks for some of our care services. These can look a little scary, but they are high quality and we made the decision to purchase these so that we don’t face a situation that we don’t have the correct PPE when we need it. To help you to familiarise yourself with this equipment we have included an image below:
Repairs and Maintenance Works
We are only responding to emergency repairs. These are works required to prevent danger to life or limb and/or serious damage to your home.
You should continue with the current procedures that are already in place and report all emergency repairs to your local manager during office hours and to BR24 out of office hours. If you live in an amenity or general needs house phone Bield direct as usual, using your usual contact number.
If you are reporting a repair to the Repair Line Your call is likely to go to an answer machine but please leave a message and one of the Repair Line Team will respond. In line with Government guidance we are working towards the Repair Line Team and BR24 working from home. There will be a transition period while the technology set up and tested but we expect to complete this by the start of April. You shouldn’t see a change in the service provided.
You should continue with the current procedures that are already in place and report all urgent repairs to your local manager during office hours but there will be a delay as we are only able to respond to emergency repairs.
We may experience issues out with our control as it may be more difficult for our contractors to respond particularly smaller companies due to reduced resources. Sourcing materials may also be problematic as many shops have closed. Please be assured that we are doing everything possible to ensure that urgent repairs are dealt with.
You should continue to report all Routine Repairs as usual. Although these are considered a lower priority and it is very unlikely that we will be able to complete works within the expected timescales during this outbreak, they will be attended to as soon as possible. It is important that you carefully describe the priority of your request as we realise that something that could be considered non-urgent for some people, could be considered an emergency for others. We will listen to your concerns and prioritise accordingly.
Please advise your local manager, or your Housing Officer.
If you or your Property Officer are self-isolating, or the PO is working from home, they will not be able to visit you in person but will be available on the phone. Your local manager or repair line contact will ask them to phone you. If you are also able to email photographs and can fully describe your repair issue in detail, this will be very helpful.
If this happens, please ensure you advise the person you speak to of the circumstances. We will follow all advice provided by Public Health officials and will attend to Emergency repairs as soon as possible. In some circumstances contractors may be using protective clothing such as disposable coveralls, face masks and gloves. Do not be alarmed as this will enable them to carry out the repair.
We are following Government advice and there is a reduced requirement for testing during the COVID-19 restrictions. This is to reduce the number of visitors to the developments and help reduce the risk of infection.
Yes, where our contractor is still able to man the service, these types of external works should continue, as there is limited contact with other people. These works are not considered high priority during this outbreak however they can be re-prioritised as emergency or urgent works if necessary, for example, where lack of grounds maintenance is causing a serious trip hazard.
All works have been suspended.
All planned works have been suspended.