Electricity North West has joined forces with the UK’s leading kidney patient support charity to help provide additional support for its customers in a new partnership.
The partnership between the North West’s power network and Kidney Care UK will see both organisations work together to raise awareness of Electricity North West’s Extra Care Register (ECR) and make it clear how people with kidney disease can register for this free service.
Across the North West, 415,000 people have kidney disease and as well as the charity raising awareness of the ECR, specialist training has also been provided to Electricity North West employees which will help provide a more specialist response and service.
Stephanie Trubshaw, Electricity North West’s customer services and connections director, said: “While thankfully the power network is very reliable, power cuts can still happen. People with specific medical needs might find that a power cut impacts them more than others, our register is here to provide additional help and support.
“Partnerships are a vital way as to how we can provide crucial expert tailored services to the Customers of electricity North West. This is a new, partnership to add to the other specialist partnership already in place for hundreds of thousands of people across the North West.”
Many customers can join Electricity North West’s Extra Care register, including those who are at a pensionable age and parents/guardians with children under five as well as people with a disability or in vulnerable circumstances.
As well as providing support during power cuts, through its partnerships and referral networks, Electricity North West helped 11,000 people in the region save £4.4m through advice and support over the last 12 months.
“It’s an incredibly difficult time for customers and we recognise that,” added Stephanie.
“While only about £100 from your energy bill comes to us so we can invest it in the network, we want to provide help in our local area and support to as many people as possible. Partnerships like this one will help us do this in a positive way.”
People with kidney disease have been disproportionately affected by the cost of living crisis, particularly when it comes to utility usage and costs.
Those with kidney disease also have anaemia so they can feel cold a lot of the time and some kidney treatments can be very energy intensive.
When surveying people with kidney disease, Kidney Care UK found more than 1,000 people thought about the rising costs of living, almost two thirds (60%) said this was something that they worried about all of the time.
Laurie Cuthbert, Director of Fundraising, Marketing and Communications at Kidney Care UK, added: “This is an exciting partnership to advance the support our kidney community will receive in the North West. If you receive your dialysis at home and there is a power outage, this has the potential to cause a medical emergency, so it is important the people living with kidney failure get an extra level of support provided by the Extra Care Register, so that they are forewarned of any planned outages or disruption and prioritised in case of unforeseen power cuts.
“We are pleased to be working in partnership particularly given that almost half a million people have kidney disease in the North West of England.
“The partnership will allow both organisations to raise greater awareness of chronic kidney disease more generally and will be supported with community awareness days and drop-in clinics at dialysis units across the Electricity North West network."