Kidney Care UK has joined health charities and health leaders in speaking out about the risk to vulnerable patients after the National Grid warned of possible electricity outages this winter. Extreme gas shortages could lead to UK consumers being notified of three-hour power outages a day in advance.
Highlighting the needs of clinically vulnerable people in the face of rolling power cuts is not scare-mongering.
We want to work with the Government, the National Grid and energy companies to ensure kidney patients have the support they need and action is taken to reduce the impact power outages could have on them.
We need reassurance that plans that are being put in place to ensure that anyone on dialysis is either exempt from power outages, or is informed of any planned outages well in advance so they can tailor their treatment regime accordingly.
"Thousands of people undertake their life-saving dialysis treatment at home because this works for them and is medically the best treatment option for them. Any interruption to the power supply would put the treatment itself at risk," said Laurie Cuthbert, Director of Fundraising, Marketing and Communications for Kidney Care UK.
"We, and the thousands of kidney patients who could be affected, need to know that their needs are being considered in any advance planning that is being undertaken by utility companies, the National Grid and the Government. We also need to know what the contingency plans are for these individuals so that they can be assured that their health and well-being, as well as their life-saving treatment, will not be disrupted by power outages. We are calling on utility companies to work with us to ensure that every kidney patient gets the support and consistent supply they need.”
Water and energy companies must protect vulnerable customers
Kidney Care UK advises all kidney patients to contact the Priority Services Register (PSR) for their utilities to ensure that they are registered so that any specific power needs they have can be supported. However, when we asked our supporters if they were registered, only 33% told us they were.
Kidney Care UK is working in partnership with Anglian Water to ensure those living with chronic kidney disease (CKD) receive additional support from both organisations. Approximately 10,000 patients in the Anglian region rely on dialysis, be that in their homes or in hospital. We urge other utility companies to work with us for the benefit of their clinically vulnerable customers.
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