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From the beginning of lockdown an extremely rapid change was required from the Hillcrest Maintenance’s teams’ usual office environment. The first task was moving all equipment from the office to staffs’ homes where they set up their new workstations whilst still dealing with new incoming emergency repair works. The team took this in their stride and within a couple of hours after leaving the office they were up and running again. For some of the team that remained in the office, they did a brilliant job embracing and adhering to all of the new social distancing rules.
The changes the operations, finance, planning and stores teams had to make were enormous. One of the main changes was how staff communicated with one another and online video meetings quickly became the new normal.
As the whole organisation adjusted to the challenges of lockdown, it was recognised that the supply of personal protective equipment (PPE) was becoming an area of concern, not just within Hillcrest, but throughout the UK. With that in mind it was agreed that the maintenance team would take control of the supply and distribution of PPE across all services within Hillcrest. This was by no means an easy task, but our operations manager, Tom and our stock controller, Marc both took this in their stride and since the start of lockdown have ensured that all departments receive the PPE they require. Feedback from Hillcrest Futures’ senior managers has indicated that their staff have not experienced the difficulties felt by their NHS and care home sector counterparts. This is solely down to the hard work of the maintenance team and the excellent working relationships they have built.
While a lot of services have had to stop due to the restrictions of lockdown, this has not been the case for the gas, cleaning, emergency repairs and void teams who have continued to carry on with essential works during this period. To ensure work was carried out in-line with social distancing protocol, a lot of planning in the background was required. The planning and supervisory team approached any jobs given to them with a can-do attitude, where no service requirement was beyond them.
Bob Jack, head of Hillcrest Maintenance commented that: “I am so proud of the way the maintenance teams have reacted during this very difficult time. Their positive attitudes to providing a first class service shines through everyday which has been fantastic to see. Nothing is ever too much for the teams and for that I am extremely grateful.”