Supporting our NHS key worker residents

| 09 April 2020

Summary: At MTVH, we continue to provide frontline services to 1,600 NHS key workers across nine housing schemes in the UK. We spoke with Anita Green, an Accommodation Officer at our Hammersmith Hospital key worker housing scheme, to discuss how her team are adapting their ways of working to ensure vital support for NHS staff continues, as we respond to Covid-19.

Providing a comfortable home for key workers to relax and re-charge in is more important than ever. The sustained hard work of colleagues like Anita is enabling the quality of these services to be maintained. Her story demonstrates, that even in times of challenge and uncertainty, MTVH colleagues put the needs of customers and communities first.

“The support I receive from my colleagues motivates me each day, and seeing my residents working to save lives makes me more determined than ever to play my part.”

The service 

Our key worker rented housing schemes provide convenient, affordable housing to NHS staff at nine trusts in the UK. In her role as Accommodation Officer, Anita looks after 288 properties; allocating tenancies, raising repairs, and processing rent payments. It’s an incredibly varied role, as Anita reflects:

“Every day is different and I never know what to expect. Prior to Covid-19, my day would usually entail a lot of face to face interaction with residents and colleagues. The office would be open and I would be meeting new residents, undertaking inventory checks, and supporting with services such as laundry and parcel delivery.”

The support Anita provides to key workers goes far beyond just their accommodation needs. She interacts with residents on their good days – and their bad – building genuine relationships and providing emotional support.

“I can often tell when the residents have had a hard shift. I don’t have all the answers, but I do let them know I am there for them. I don’t want anyone to suffer in silence.” 

Adapting to change

In response to Covid-19 and government advice on self-isolating, we have all had to adapt our ways of working and living. At MTVH, our priority has been the health of our customers and colleagues and ensuring that vital services, like Anita’s, are able to continue.

At our key worker accommodation schemes, services involving face-to-face contact have been scaled back and our front-line staff are working on rotation. There remains a daily on-site presence however, and all key services are still functioning including the delivery of maintenance and cleaning services.

“There has been an impact on our services since Covid-19. For my own health and safety, and to adhere to social distancing, the office is closed to the public, we are not accepting parcels, and we are only actioning emergency repairs. The office is what I miss the most – the residents popping in for a chat (and the cake they often bring!)”

Clap for our Accommodation Officers

Every Thursday at 8pm communities are coming together to #clapforourcarers, and celebrate the incredible work of our NHS staff and carers. Having worked to provide a secure home for key workers with MTVH for 7 years, Anita appreciates just how important this recognition is:

“I am proud to be able to provide a service for my hardworking NHS residents who are currently working long hours saving lives. The least I can do is be here for them”

This period has brought change and hardship for many. But it has also given visibility to the gratitude we have for the people behind our essential services. Anita is one of these people, and we want to highlight the work of those like her – providing NHS key workers with a clean, safe and comfortable home, despite the circumstances.