United Residents Housing is a unique arms length management organisation for four resident-managed estates in the London Borough of Lambeth (Blenheim Gardens RMO, Loughborough EMB, Roupell Park RMC and Waltham RMO). Together with the local resident management organisations URH are responsible for over 2,500 dwellings many of which are in need of investment.
The main aim of URH when it was formed, was to improve the housing their management and repairs services to residents, and to achieve at least two stars in their Audit Commission inspection. To support this aim, Frankham RMS were appointed by URH to undertake a range of compliance activities including fire risk assessments, asbestos management and legionella consultancy. Working collaboratively with URH our commission has played an integral part in helping URH achieve the two-star rating awarded by the Audit Commission.
On all the compliance areas we are working on with URH, we have been involved at a strategic level, providing initial review of current practices and evaluation of the portfolio through to developing a strategy for inspections and delivering those inspections.
In relation to Legionella we established early on where there were gaps in information and helped URH to act in a prioritised manner to make an assessment of their properties to comply with the requirements of L8.
Strategy Development and Service Provision:
Working with the client and recognising that with no written assessments in place for a number of years, sites were identified and prioritised for the first phase of Legionella Risk Assessments (around 60 communal areas) based on their size and corresponding likelihood of having stored water.
As typical of all our work with our clients, we took a holistic approach to delivering the process; so with the risk assessments we also provided comments on other health and safety matters such as working at height. Recommendations for remedial works were monitored as the work progressed on site, with items of significant risk being brought to the attention of the client as they were being discovered. Such recommendations ranged from isolation of tanks contaminated with vermin to replacing whole tanks to improvements to access, lighting and security. Final delivery of the written risk assessments and water management log-books were then issued swiftly and within the deadlines provided to us.
In conjunction with the risk assessment programme, we identified that URH required an overarching strategy document that outlined the organisations policy and procedures to comply with L8; so we produced one. We also identified the need for awareness training and delivered it to various frontline staff.
Development of Escalation Procedures:
The water management strategy document we have developed in collaboration with the client identified that one of the key areas that needed to be put in place was a set of escalation processes to deal with any failures identified from the assessments.