Electricity firm, UK Power Networks, is urging people with breathing difficulties to sign up to a confidential register to receive free support during power cuts.
During Breathe Easy Week (June 12-16) the company is raising awareness of the additional help available to customers with breathing conditions when they join the Priority Services Register, which offers help to vulnerable customers during power cuts.
UK Power Networks owns and maintains the electricity network which keeps the lights on across London, the South East and East of England. Last year the number of customers on its priority register increased by 50% to over one million, including a 125% increase in registrations from people using ventilators at home and a 122% increase from people using nebulisers.
Kerry Potter, priority services manager at UK Power Networks, said: “We have seen a big growth in customers joining the priority register who are reliant on medical equipment in their home to support their breathing, such as machines to help with sleep apnoea and oxygen concentrators. We understand what a worrying time a power cut is for customers with breathing conditions. If we’re aware of your condition, we will keep you updated until your power is restored and offer practical support, regular updates, information and advice.”
In the event of a power cut those on the register can access extra help services including:
A 24-hour priority phone number
A dedicated team who will contact you to keep you updated during a power cut
Tailored support if needed such as home visits, hot meals, advice and keeping your friends and relatives updated
In certain scenarios we may also offer a free hotel overnight and transport to the hotel
Pensioners, parents with children under five, disabled people, hearing and sight-impaired residents, people with dementia, the chronically ill, those using medical equipment powered by electricity at home, nursing and residential homes all qualify to join the register.
Breathe Easy Week is a national campaign by the British Lung Foundation to help people with lung conditions by improving care through prevention, treatment and cure.