South Yorkshire Housing Association

Checkmate has been working within various assisted living accommodation and nursing homes for South Yorkshire Housing Association (SYHA) since 2017, delivering fire stopping, fire door remediation and fire door replacement works.

  • Sector

    Social  Housing & Healthcare

  • Location

    South Yorkshire - various sites

  • Timescales

    September 2017 - Ongoing

  • Services Utilised

    Fire door remediation, replacement and fire stopping

Approach

Working with SYHA, Checkmate created an agreed approach with the client, with particular emphasis on security and access measures, along with appropriate products and specification when working throughout SYHA properties.

Scope of Works Example

Checkmate has been working within various assisted living accommodation and nursing homes for SYHA since 2017. With a large number of these homes containing up to 60 bed units, we had to be meticulous in our planning.

We installed new doors and door sets, along with remediating doors where possible, and delivered stopping works to roof voids and compartments. In some of the larger premises, the works were co-ordinated with current fire alarm and door control works that were being conducted by another contractor to minimise disruption. 

Many of the buildings have vulnerable adults, so security is a factor when working on entrance doors and flat bedroom doors.   Due to the nature of those living in these residentials, noise and disruption is kept to a minimum so not to upset user’s daily routine.

For all projects, we arrange for a pre-start meeting with the client to discuss the programme of work and general considerations, along with communication and logistics.

For administration, we create a suitable communication method with agreement from the client, employing the use of letters and bulletin boards to inform the occupants and users of the building works we will be undertaking.  This is updated daily as the programme progresses.

The projects are managed by Checkmate Contracts Managers and Assistant Contracts Managers who visit the larger sites 2-3 times a week, and once a week for smaller projects.

Considerations

Working in busy care homes and sheltered accommodation, our teams have to navigate a number of key considerations, including:

  • Noise control
  • Limited access to rooms
  • Security and safety
  • Other contractors
  • Sensitive approach

Key Challenges

In addition to the considerations listed, the key challenges have been working around vulnerable adults, who are often confused or scared by change. Particularly during the Covid-19 pandemic, when anxiety is already heightened. We have been vigilant with social distancing, keeping doors locked and barriers in place, and planning changes to the programme to accommodate quarantine areas.

Lessons Learned

Finding that the fear of change was a common denominator across both care homes and sheltered accommodation, we rapidly learned to make certain adjustments to the programme. For example, where possible, we moved doors/furniture to empty rooms to work on where nobody could get anxious.

We also learned not to underestimate the importance of repeat communication with residents. They found our teams less intimidating when we had low, calm conversations with them personally, instead of just speaking with staff.

Outcome and Successes

Having worked across all of SYHA’s key buildings, our projects have all been completed professionally, within the timescale and to budget, with minimum disruption to the day to day working of the sites. As a result, we have continued to gain repeat business and strengthen our relationship with SYHA.

We originally won the 1st project via competitive tender and work has continued through several projects since then, due to the successful relationship with the client and satisfaction of the works.  SYHA recognised that it was imperative that these specialist works needed to be carried out by a 3rd party accredited contractor who could provide assurances that the work had been completed to a compliant level

- Client Quote