There are around 3 million people in the UK with chronic kidney disease and around 60,000 have kidney failure, with over 1,000 undertaking their dialysis at home which relies on access to both electricity and water supply. It is important for all kidney patients to receive extra support to keep warm, hydrated and well in their own home and by registering with the Priority Services Register through this joint pilot, these patients will be prioritised and given extra help in an unplanned power cut. Should there be any planned works in their area they will be given advance notice of disruption.
It is free to join the Priority Services Register but many customers are unaware that they are eligible for extra support and normally have to register with each utility provider individually. This pilot will mean that there is just one joint registration for customers of both Thames Water and UK Power Networks, making it a quicker and easier process. It is hoped that this pilot will pave the way towards the ultimate aim of addressing the need for a single central Priority Services Register used by all customers and utility providers.
The pilot is available in areas of London, Surrey, Middlesex and Hertfordshire and has the potential to help more than 500 home dialysis patients. In addition, more than 3,000 people with kidney disease live in the pilot area, and these individuals often feel the cold more than those who do not have kidney disease. During the pilot, staff from Kidney Care UK along with representatives from Thames Water and UK Power Networks will also be visiting hospitals and units to raise awareness of the initiative.
Paul Bristow, Interim Chief Executive at Kidney Care UK, comments: “We’re delighted to be leading the way with Thames Water and UK Power Networks and hope other providers will follow suit. Ultimately we hope that this will lead to a much clearer and easier system for people to sign up to the Priority Services Register. Thankfully planned or unexpected power cuts are fairly rare nowadays but we believe this pilot will give people with kidney disease a little peace of mind and reassurance that should the unexpected happen they will get the help they need, when they need it.”
Pete Cotton, Customer Propositions Manager at Thames Water, said: “Being on the priority services register can provide peace of mind for kidney patients should they lose supply due to maintenance work or a burst on our ageing network. We’re looking forward to this new partnership which makes it much easier to sign up to the register and will make a real difference to our customers’ wellbeing.”
Kerry Potter, Priority Services Manager, at UK Power Networks, said; “Reaching out to the people who need us most is vital to us at UK Power Networks and we are delighted this partnership enables us to support a greater number of kidney patients in the event of a power cut. We want them and their families to be fully aware of the extra help available to them especially at critical times. We appreciate that electricity can be an essential for life service and are keen to provide all the proactive support we can to those who need it most.
“Working in partnerships with charities like Kidney Care UK, as well as Thames Water, is a fantastic way to make it easier for kidney patients to join the Priority Services Register. It helps us to ensure that we understand who needs additional support with their utilities so we can do everything possible to help our customers.”
Sign up and find out more on our Priority Services Register page
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