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Maintenance Tag

Introduction

On 14th June 2021 it was announced that five new contracts worth £650-million will deliver crucial building and maintenance services for more than 39,000 Service families.

 

Forming the next phase of the Future Defence Infrastructure (FDIS) programme, the four new regional accommodation contracts will cover the maintenance of properties across the UK, including plumbing, electrical works, repair services and the maintenance support helpline.

 

The contracts will create and sustain thousands of jobs across the UK supply chain and SFA sites including Portsmouth, Marham, Aldershot, Edinburgh and Cumbria which are all set to benefit from it.

 

The NFF carried out a housing survey in 2018 and which directly informed the Ministry of Defence’s tendering process.

The contracts
Infographic of a family home - the families journey in SFA

Click to enlarge.

The seven-year contracts have been awarded to:

  • CUSTOMER SERVICE CENTRE – Pinnacle Group Ltd
  • MAINTENANCE (NORTHERN) – Amey Community Ltd
  • MAINTENANCE (CENTRAL) – Amey Community Ltd
  • MAINTENANCE (SOUTH EAST) – VIVO Defence Services Ltd
  • MAINTENANCE (SOUTH WEST) – VIVO Defence Services Ltd

 

You will have a single point of contact, run by Pinnacle. The other contractors will maintain homes and community spaces around them.

 

The new contracts will require suppliers to work differently, such as fixing faults on an initial visit to a property and undertaking simple preventative maintenance while attending properties to reduce disruption to families.

 

The contracts ensure industry suppliers adopt and adhere to recognised industry standards for the allocation, management and maintenance of military homes, implementing robust mechanisms to address poor performance alongside incentives to exceed contracted standards.

Important announcements/updates
April 22 - Missed appointments

Update: 28th April, 2022

 

Message from DIO – Update on the issue affecting appointments in the South East and South West Regions

 

Last week an issue arose where appointments were not transferred between Pinnacle and VIVO systems. This impacted families in the South East and South West Regions, and led to missed appointments.

 

VIVO have completed system fixes and are now receiving appointments through the National Service Centre (NSC). They are contacting affected families who raised jobs with the NSC whilst the interface was down (14-26 April) to arrange appointment slots. If the family cannot be reached via a telephone call, VIVO will email with an appointment and will advise the family to contact the NSC to re-arrange the appointment if the one proposed is not suitable.

 

All families should have been contacted with a proposed appointment by 6th May.

 

In addition, Pinnacle are contacting families who had missed appointments to confirm they will receive missed appointment compensation in the form of an e-voucher. The first batch of vouchers has already been emailed to families and Pinnacle will endeavour to get all the vouchers emailed out over the next two weeks. Families do not need to contact the NSC to claim their compensation and will receive the e-vouchers automatically.

 

We are sorry for the inconvenience this has caused families. These new contracts are designed with families firmly in mind to transform housing services for our Armed Forces. We are working closely with Pinnacle, VIVO, Amey and service family accommodation stakeholders to address issues when they arise, to minimise impact to your lived experience

 

We thank you in the meantime for your continued patience. For further information about the new FDIS Accommodation contracts that replaced the National Housing Prime (NHP) contract on 1 April 2022, please continue to check the SFA Gov.UK website, Pinnacle website and Families Federations and HIVE social media and web pages.

April 22 - Key changes

Update: 13th April, 2022

 

New arrangements to support Service Family Accommodation – Future Defence Infrastructure Services Programme

 

From April 11th 2022, the National Service Centre (NSC) started to receive and log routine maintenance calls. As expected, Pinnacle received a huge volume of calls (2270) and had extra teams in place to receive these. However, there was a technical issue yesterday morning that affected a number of call centres throughout the UK beyond Pinnacle and Defence and this, along with the large volumes of calls, contributed to some families experiencing long wait times. We understand how frustrating this must have been and apologise for this. By the end of the day the call wait times did reduce considerably and we hope that they will continue to reduce throughout this week as we monitor this closely with Pinnacle. As well as phoning to make a request, families may wish to log a request by emailing hello@pinnacleservicefamilies.co.uk.

 

With regards to requests raised under the old contracts, many families have now been contacted and appointments have been raised to work through these requests. We are aware however that some families have not heard back from Amey or VIVO to book appointments for routine requests they raised through 11-25 March. This is understandably causing some families to contact the NSC to re-raise these requests. Again, we understand this is a source of frustration especially as in our cutover comms we said that the new Regional Accommodation Maintenance Services (RAMS) contract teams would endeavour to contact families between 28 March and 8 April 2022 to arrange appointments to complete these works. Having reassessed the situation with our suppliers and looking at the amount of routine maintenance tasks passed from NHP to FDIS, a new date of 29 April 2022 has been set for VIVO and Amey to contact families to make the appointments to meet this back log of works. We do apologise for this delay and for any inconvenience caused to Service personnel and their families.

 

We understand that some families who raised complaints under the NHP contracts have not yet been contacted regarding their complaint being taken forward. We would like to reassure families that Pinnacle started to call families last week to progress their complaints and by 29th April, will have contacted all families.

 

Finally, we would like to provide some clarity about HomeHub and why this did not go live at the start of the new contracts. It was always the intention for HomeHub to go live after this transition period, as Air Commodore Savage, DIO’s Head of Accommodation, explained in the FDIS Facebook Live session on 11 January (at around 7.14 minutes). This is standard practice for a change of this nature as it is important that we ensure the new service and traditional ways for families contacting the NSC are fully working and that any issues are resolved before we roll out the self help options through the HomeHub. Once we are satisfied the service is fully stable, the HomeHub will be introduced to complement existing phone and online means of contacting the NSC by enabling families to raise requests from phone, tablet or PC. Any contract transition is challenging, and our focus is on getting the basics right especially around response maintenance and anything to do with safety before we progressively roll out the new capabilities.

 

These contracts offer the opportunity to make a big difference to the lived experience for Service families but not everything will change overnight and some of the innovations FDIS will bring may take time for some to embed and deliver results. We absolutely understand the frustrations felt by some families as these new contracts settle and please do keep feeding back to Pinnacle, your welfare teams and the Families Federations about concerns you have. These are crucial for us to understand as together with Pinnacle, VIVO and Amey we are working hard to transform housing services for you and are working hard through these early days of the new contract to minimise disruption to families as new systems and ways of working are embedded. We thank you for your patience.

Mar 22- Key Changes

Update: 28th March, 2022

 

A message from DIO:

One week to go until the new contracts start

As we approach 1 April 2022, and in the first week after it, some housing services will be temporarily affected as the new systems are embedded. We would like to reassure families that all emergency and urgent enquiries will continue to be responded to as normal and within the timeframes during this cutover period. For more information about this transition period please see the section below.

The new contracts will be very different from the current one. They have been designed with Service families firmly in mind and DIO collaborated closely with the Housing Colonels from all three Services and the Service Families Federations to ensure that families’ needs are fully considered. They offer the opportunity to break decisively from the past and to build on the commitments made by all suppliers to innovate and deliver more responsive and flexible services to Service families.

 

Some of the key changes are:

 

  • Greater flexibility with how families can contact the National Service Centre. A few weeks after the new contract starts a new Home Hub will be introduced to complement existing phone and online means of contacting the Centre. This will allow families to raise service requests from their smart phone, tablet or personal computer. We will alert families when Home Hub goes live through social media channels and please do keep checking the Pinnacle website.
  • Shorter appointment windows, plus evening and weekend appointments. For all appointments made from Day One onwards, appointments will initially cover a four-hour window but on the day before the appointment this will be narrowed down to one hour. On the day of the appointment families will be given the engineer’s contact number by text.
  • A new target will be introduced to fix at least 85% of repairs on the first visit. This encourages suppliers to improve fault diagnosis, keep more spares in their vehicles and ensure the right engineer is allocated to complete the repair.
  • More robust targets and incentives. These will include specific targets for both delivery performance and – for the first time – customer satisfaction, which will drive the payments the suppliers receive. If the suppliers fall below minimum standards there will be financial consequences, but there will also be financial incentives for them to exceed the minimum contracted standard.

There has been excellent collaboration between DIO, Pinnacle, Amey and VIVO during the transition phase – supported by the Families Federations – to ensure the new contracts are successfully delivered and we very much forward to the new contracts going live next week.

Mar 22 - What to expect during the transition

Update: 11th March, 2022

 

A message from DIO:

The new Accommodation contracts – what to expect during the transition

The new Future Defence Infrastructure Services (FDIS) Accommodation contracts that replace the National Housing Prime (NHP) contract will come into service on 1 April 2022. As we approach that date, and in the week following, some housing services will be temporarily affected as new systems are embedded. We refer to this period of transition between the NHP and new FDIS accommodation contracts as the “cutover” period. We would like to reassure families that all emergency and urgent enquiries will continue to be responded to as normal and within the timeframes during this cutover period.

 

1. Cutover arrangements for reactive maintenance to homes

a. Emergency and Urgent repairs and maintenance requests

The arrangements for raising Emergency and Urgent repair requests will not be impacted. Families should contact Amey using existing channels until midnight on 31 March 2022. From Friday 1 April 2022, when the new Accommodation contracts formally start, emergency and urgent calls for repairs and maintenance should be made through Pinnacle’s National Service Centre (NSC) or telephone 0800 031 8628.

 

From 25 March 2022 inclusive, Amey will not always be able to allocate appointments for Urgent repairs before their current contract expires on 31 March 2022. If they cannot allocate families an Urgent appointment, they will pass the requirement to the new Regional Accommodation Maintenance Services (RAMS) Contract teams – VIVO for the South East and South West Regions and Amey for the North and Central Regions – who will contact you to arrange appointments to complete these works as soon as possible, on or after 1 April 2022. The FDIS suppliers will increase the size of their teams to support with clearing works that transition over from NHP to the new FDIS contracts.

 

b. Routine repairs and maintenance requests

From 11 – 25 March 2022 inclusive, Amey will continue to take calls for all categories of repairs and maintenance but will not always be able to allocate appointments for routine works before their current contract expires on 31 March 2022. If they cannot allocate you a routine appointment, they will pass your requirement to the new RAMS contract teams as above, who will endeavour to contact you between 28 March and 8 April 2022 to arrange appointments to complete these works. The FDIS suppliers will increase the size of their teams to support with clearing the works that transition over from NHP to the new FDIS contracts.

 

From 26 March – 10 April 2022 inclusive, no calls will be taken by Amey or Pinnacle for routine repairs or maintenance calls under the NHP contract – only calls for Emergency and Urgent repair and maintenance issues will be taken. This is to allow time for key transition activities including staff induction, the issue of new kit/clothing/vehicles, training and embedding new systems while ensuring that Emergency and Urgent repairs are attended to promptly. Over this period, messages will be posted by Amey (until 31 March) and Pinnacle (from 1 April) asking families to wait until at least 11 April 2022 to report new Routine maintenance requests.

 

From 11 April 2022, families should contact the National Service Centre or telephone 0800 031 8628 to raise routine repairs and maintenance issues. The Pinnacle National Service Centre will be staffed appropriately to anticipate a surge in calls, emails and live chat at this time.

 

We do understand that this may be frustrating for some families and apologise that there will be a gap for these routine enquiries. However, we would be grateful for your support during this time so that we can ensure that families with Emergency and Urgent needs are prioritised while our suppliers complete activities essential to the success of FDIS. DIO and our suppliers are committed to putting the interests of Service families first and improving the lived experience for families is at the heart of the new contracts. Taking this approach will ensure the new systems are fully ready and that Pinnacle, Vivo and Amey are able to transition smoothly from the NHP to the new FDIS contracts.

 

2. Move-in and move-out appointments

To allow for essential work as part of the change-over to new FDIS accommodation contracts, the e1132 site will be temporarily offline from 12:00hrs on Thursday 31st March until 08:00hrs on Friday 1st April 2022. Please accept our apologies for any inconvenience this may cause.

 

Move-in and move-out appointments and any other occupancy appointments agreed with families with Amey prior to 1 April 2022 will be attended by a Pinnacle Housing Officer on an agreed date from 1 April. All supporting information will be passed from Amey to Pinnacle as required such as Statutory and Mandatory Inspection certificates.

 

3. Complaints/CAAS Challenges

Amey will endeavour to resolve as many as Stage 1 complaints/CAAS challenges as possible before 31 March 2022.  If they are unable to complete the work required to close a complaint or respond to a CAAS challenge prior to this date, the complaint/CAAS challenge will be paused and Amey will inform the complainant that their complaint/CAAS challenge will be passed over to Pinnacle. From 1 April 2022 Pinnacle will be in touch with families with a new reference number and to discuss and take forward these cases.

 

4. Additional Needs and Disability Adaptation (ANDA) Works

Amey will endeavour to continue to undertake ANDA work, where possible, up to 31 March 2022. If they are unable to complete the work required prior to this date, the work will be paused.  Families with outstanding ANDA work will be contacted directly by Amey to inform them that the work will be passed over to Pinnacle, who will make contact soon after 1 April 2022 to provide a dedicated point of contact and to progress the request.

 

Further information on the new FDIS accommodation contracts

More details will be made available to Service personnel and their families over the coming weeks through the SFA Gov.UK website, on social media and via the Families Federations and HIVEs. In addition, comprehensive guides are available for families on the Pinnacle website, which is now live. It is important to note that until 1 April 2022 families must still visit the Amey Defence Services website and continue to use these services regarding their homes.

The introduction of FDIS is intended to represent a step change in the way services will be delivered to families in SFA and we look forward to continuing to work with Pinnacle, Amey and VIVO during the transition phase – supported by the Families Federations – to ensure the new contracts are successfully delivered.

Mar 22 - Four weeks to go

Update: 4th March, 2022

 

A message from DIO:

Four weeks until the new Accommodation contracts start

The new Future Defence Infrastructure Services (FDIS) Accommodation contracts that replace the National Housing Prime (NHP) contract, will come into service 4 weeks from today, on 1 April 2022.

 

More details will be made available to Service personnel and their families over the next four weeks through the SFA Gov.UK website, on social media and via  the Families Federations and HIVEs. In addition, comprehensive guides will be available for families on the Pinnacle website, which has gone live today. However it is important to note that until 1 April 2022 families must still visit the Amey Defence Services website and continue to use these services to log any repairs and requests and access information regarding their homes.

In January, DIO’s Head of Accommodation, Air Commodore James Savage joined the Army Families Federation to answer questions from families about the new Accommodation contracts and you can watch a recording of the Facebook Live from the section above (Jan 22 update). Responses to all the questions raised at the event can be viewed here.

 

Families First Approach

In developing the new contracts, DIO collaborated closely with the Housing Colonels from the RN, Army, RAF and UK STRATCOM and the Families Federations to ensure that families’ needs were fully considered. The new contracts have been developed with Service families firmly in mind and will be very different from the current one. They offer the opportunity to break decisively from the past and to build on the commitments made by all suppliers to innovate and deliver more responsive and flexible services to Service families. Importantly, contracted performance standards have been informed by industry best practice and include targets for customer satisfaction, with financial incentives for contractors to exceed the minimum contracted standards.

 

Another key focus of the new contracts is to change the culture. A ‘Family First’ approach has been agreed with our industry partners, which places the needs of our families at the heart of what we do. This approach will be backed by enhanced customer service training that brings to life what it means to be a Service family.

 

The introduction of FDIS is intended to represent a step change in the way services will be delivered to families in SFA. There has been excellent collaboration between DIO, Pinnacle, Amey and VIVO during the transition phase – supported by the Families Federations – to ensure the new contracts are successfully delivered.

Feb 22 - Change of in-service date

Update: 10th February, 2022

 

A message from DIO’s Head of Accommodation, Air Commodore James Savage:

Further to my last message to families dated 13 January 2022, regarding the introduction of the new Future Defence Infrastructure Services (FDIS) Accommodation contracts that will replace the National Housing Prime (NHP) contract, I am pleased to confirm that the new contracts will come into service on 1 April 2022.
This change to the in-service date of FDIS has allowed time to ensure all the key systems are fully tested and operational prior to going live.
We have collaborated closely with key stakeholders, including the Families Federations, to ensure that Service families’ needs are fully considered and an improved ‘lived experience’ is provided. The new contracts will require suppliers to work differently, such as fixing faults on an initial visit to a property and undertaking simple preventative maintenance while attending properties to reduce disruption to families.
More details will be made available about the new contracts as we approach the in-service date, and comprehensive guides will be available for families on the Pinnacle website.
Further updates will be provided via social media. Information on the new contracts and the benefits they will deliver for families is also available on the SFA Gov.UK website.
Jan 22 - Change of in-service date

Update: 14th January, 2022

 

A message from DIO’s Head of Accommodation, Air Commodore James Savage:

 

We are currently preparing for the introduction of the new Future Defence Infrastructure Services (FDIS) Accommodation contracts that will replace the National Housing Prime (NHP) contract and will fulfil the Defence requirement for the delivery of effective and responsive accommodation services for Service personnel and their families. More information about FDIS and the new suppliers can be found here.

 

The new contracts are due to come into service on 1 March 2022 and DIO and its partners have been working towards this date. However, a risk has emerged that some of the key IT systems on which FDIS would depend might not be ready to deploy on 1 March 2022.

 

Although this risk is not high, DIO and our suppliers are committed to putting the interests of Service families first and it is crucial that we get this right, because improving the lived experience for families is at the heart of the new contracts. Therefore, we are seeking formal approval to change the in-service date by a month to 1 April 2022, in order to ensure the new systems are fully ready.

 

Although the approval process will take a little time, we have agreed with Amey and MOD Head Office that we should extend the current National Housing Prime Contract to 31 March 2022 to ensure that we can continue to deliver services in the meantime. An early decision was necessary to ensure Amey could give its supply chain adequate notice. The proposed change to the in-service date of FDIS should then allow time to ensure all of the key systems are fully tested and proved prior to going live. We will provide a further update once the approvals process has completed.

 

Accommodation is such an important part of family life for Service personnel, which is why we collaborated closely with representatives of our people and their families to develop these contracts and ensure that their needs are fully considered. These new contracts offer the opportunity to break decisively from the past and to build on the commitments made by all suppliers to innovate and deliver more responsive and flexible services to the Armed Forces and their families.

 

The new contracts will require suppliers to work differently, such as fixing faults on an initial visit to a property and undertaking simple preventative maintenance while attending properties to reduce disruption to families.

 

I look forward to continuing working with Pinnacle, Vivo and Amey to transition smoothly from the NHP to the new FDIS contracts, and to ensure delivery performance is maintained. More details will become available as we approach the in-service date, with comprehensive guides to the new contracts to be issued to all families in SFA in good time before the contracts go live in April. Please do keep checking Gov.uk as all the latest SFA FDIS guidance is there, and we will be updating those pages as appropriate.

Jan 22 - Facebook live with Head of DIO

Update: 12th January, 2022

 

James Savage, the Head of Accommodation at the Defence Infrastructure Organisation (DIO) and the Army Families Federation (AFF) jointly hosted a live session on Facebook on behalf of the Naval and RAF Families Federations.

 

The session provided information to the new FDIS contracts as well as answered some questions that you may have.

 

You can watch the recording here.  

Resources
Screenshot of the FDIS article from Homeport magazine (Spring 22)
Click the image to read the article (Homeport Spring 22, p.32-33)
Posted on: 24th June 2021
Updated on: 28th April 2022

 

Defence Secretary Ben Wallace and Chancellor Rishi Sunak announce £200-million new government funding for the UK Armed Forces’ housing and accommodation.

 

Thousands of UK Armed Forces families across the UK will have their housing and accommodation improved and renovated thanks to nearly £200-million of new Government funding, announced last Friday (17th July) by Defence Secretary Ben Wallace and Chancellor Rishi Sunak.

On a joint visit to Catterick Garrison, the Ministers chatted to soldiers about the ways the improvements will help them. Over 5,000 personnel, plus their families will have homes modernised with new kitchens, bathrooms and furnishings including re-roofing to reduce the risk of mould and damp.

As part of the funding injection 3,500 service homes will be upgraded as well as single living quarters. This will improve life for UK Armed Forces personnel deployed at home and abroad to keep the nation safe, including in the fight to halt the spread of COVID-19.

The work will also make UK Armed Forces estates more environmentally friendly. New windows and doors will provide better insulation, energy efficient boilers will drive down bills, and solar panels and electric vehicle charging points will reduce the carbon footprint.

Families with young children will benefit from new play areas, roads will be resurfaced and energy efficient street lighting will help modernise sites as part of the funding.

The Defence Secretary invited the Chancellor to Catterick Garrison last week, which will benefit from investment in Service Family Accommodation, to announce the news.

 

Defence Secretary Ben Wallace said:

“Our Armed Forces work incredibly hard to keep our nation safe, and so it is only right that they have a place they feel proud to call home.

“From introducing a generous Forces Help to Buy scheme to piloting a new rented accommodation model, we have made enormous steps in recent years to offer flexible housing for a modern workforce.

“This latest investment will benefit thousands of our personnel and their families, providing the standard of living they deserve.”

 

Improving accommodation and facilities across military estates will also be part of bold new plans, including replacing 30 WW2 accommodation blocks in Longmoor, Pirbright, Westdown, Knook, Nesscliffe, Castlemartin Camps and providing new accommodation for on-call personnel in Northern Ireland.

 

The investment is expected to sustain around 2,000 jobs through the work on housing improvements including plumbers, electricians, painters and decorators. This will be delivered through the existing National Housing Prime contract. Upgrades will begin in late summer and will be delivered over a period of two years.

 

Chancellor of the Exchequer Rishi Sunak said:

“Day in, day out, our Armed Forces make huge personal sacrifices for our country, and it is our duty to ensure they have the best conditions possible.

“This news doesn’t just mean service homes across the country will be upgraded, but will see 2,000 jobs in sectors where they are needed the most, like plumbing and decorating – delivering our Plan for Jobs.”

 

CEO Naval Families Federation, Anna Wright said:

“Having a decent standard of accommodation is fundamental to serving personnel and their families feeling valued by the nation for their work and the sacrifices they make and this is something we have campaigned for, for some time. That funding of £200M has been secured is hugely welcome.”

 

Over the last four years £530-million has been invested in improvements to Service Family Accommodation. The additional £200-million funding package will continue to improve the standard of both homes for Service families and single living accommodation on military bases.

Improvements to accommodation sit alongside a suite of recent changes to military accommodation to make it more accessible and flexible for personnel and their families.

The MOD recently introduced new flexible working arrangements, expanded offerings to cohabiting couples and extended the Forces Help to Buy scheme until the end of 2022, giving our UK Armed Forces the chance to get a foot on the housing ladder. This has allowed military personnel to borrow a deposit of up to half of their annual salary, interest free, to contribute towards buying a home, moving house, or building an extension.

This follows the announcement last week that military children will be entitled to free breakfast and after-school childcare as part of ongoing measures to further support the UK Armed Forces and their loved ones.

 

Funding details - infographic

 

 

Posted on: 20th July, 2020
Updated on: 1st October, 2020