Kidney Care UK is working with SGN and Scottish Water to promote a free service that provides extra help during power cuts and interruptions to gas, electricity and water supplies. The new service will offer direct specialist support to more than 5,000 people with kidney failure in Glasgow, Aberdeen, Dundee and Perth, where there is a high prevalence of chronic kidney disease (CKD).
Through the partnership, people with CKD in these areas will also be able to access utility safeguarding services and comprehensive, holistic support from Kidney Care UK, including hardship grants, counselling and community patient support.
Laurie Cuthbert, Director of Fundraising, Marketing & Communications at Kidney Care UK, said: “In the first six months of 2023, our Patient Support & Advocacy Officers have already supported many kidney patients in Scotland, this includes more than £30,000 in individual financial grants, as well as securing more than £40,000 for people with kidney disease in Scotland through income maximisation and debt relief schemes they were eligible for, or through unrealised benefits they were entitled to. It is clear that there is an acute need for this support at a time when the kidney community in Scotland need it more than ever. We look forward to working with SGN and Scottish Water to help more people in need.”
Kidney Care UK will be training front line vulnerability staff from SGN and Scottish Water as part of the project so that staff can better understand the challenges faced by kidney patients.
SGN, Scottish Water and Kidney Care UK are also working together to raise awareness of carbon monoxide poisoning. People with kidney disease in Aberdeen, Dundee, Glasgow and Perth will be able to sign up for a free carbon monoxide alarm.
“We believe everyone deserves to be safe and warm at home all year round, and with colder weather just around the corner, it’s important that those living with CKD are aware of the many ways we can help if they ever have an issue with their gas, water, or electricity supply,” said SGN Customer Vulnerability Manager Linda Spence.
Scottish Water’s Customer Service General Manager, Kevin Roy commented: “Water and waste water services are essential to daily life, and it’s often not until these services are interrupted that people appreciate just how important they are. Customers requiring additional support can sign up to our Priority Services Register to help ensure in the event of an interruption to their water supply, we’re able to prioritise them and make sure they get the support they need.”