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Near Me continues to develop and improve following feedback

In her blog post, SFHA's Near Me Project Lead, Fiona McCrae, discusses the new developments in Near Me Video Appointments and the benefits to housing associations and co-operatives and tenants. 

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Near Me continues to be rolled out across the housing sector, supporting services offering flexibility for tenants and staff attending appointments. Near Me is also improving and developing with feedback from users.  

One of the newest functions is 'Consult Now'. When service providers need an immediate consultation with a caller, they can use the Consult Now feature. This type of consultation allows for escalating situations when seeing what the caller is talking about will help such as a maintenance officer who needs to escalate an emergency plumbing repair or a welfare rights officer who wants to see a tenant’s letter for more information. Consult Now can be enabled for a 'Waiting Area'. 

Ask your Near Me administrator to switch it on if you are a service provider. When Consult Now is enabled, a new Consult Now tab is available on the Waiting Area page. 

Another development is 'Group Consultations' which can accommodate multiple callers for a consultation or discussion, hosting tenant participation meetings or any upcoming tenant events. The Waiting Area is designated for Group Consultations and can include at least 30 people in one call.  

If you want to use Group Consultation, you need to apply for another Waiting Area solely for Group Consultations. Near Me is accessible to public services until at least 2023, allowing social landlords to offer their tenants a secure video call option for accessing services such as housing management, viewings/assessing reported repairs, welfare benefits advice etc. Near Me can also be beneficial in winter months, saving tenants and staff members travelling in adverse weather conditions.   

In collaboration with the NHS Near Me Team, we have developed housing-specific guidelines to support services adopting and embedding Near Me as another way to communicate with tenants. 

The role out of Near Me is widening into a range of NHS and public services, and an increasing number of members of the public will be offered a Near Me appointment. To support this development, SFHA has developed promotional resources on Near Me to increase awareness of Near Me for tenants and residents. These are available to any housing association, co-operative or local authority. To access these resources, click here

Applying for Near Me access   

Near Me is easy to set up for your organisation. In the first instance, please arrange a demonstration session with me. Please contact  fmccrae@sfha.co.uk to set up a session.  

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