SSEN and NHS Highland – a partnership to make a difference this winter
Scottish and Southern Electricity Networks (SSEN) and NHS Highland have been building on a vital partnership to help customers requiring extra assistance to live independently at home this winter.
Since the start of the partnership just over a year ago, SSEN and NHS Highland have been working closely to make sure NHS Telecare clients are aware of the extra support and assistance available to them during a power cut by joining SSEN’s Priority Services Register (PSR).
The organisations have now signed a data sharing agreement to enable any new NHS Highland Telecare clients to have their details shared securely with SSEN’s Priority Services Team who will then proactively contact customers to ensure they are receiving the support they need. All NHS Highland Telecare clients would provide their consent prior to their details being shared with SSEN.
SSEN’s Priority Services Register is free to join for customers who may need extra support during a power cut or planned supply interruption. The service offers a dedicated 24 hour freephone number; provides reassuring calls or texts to keep customers informed, particularly prior to or during network outages; provides information in the format customers need – for example Braille or audio CD – and adapted services or even temporary generation for customers relying on electrically-powered medical equipment during planned or unplanned network outages.
Telecare is a service provided by NHS Highland which uses a combination of alarms, remote monitoring sensors and other equipment, to help people live more independently and safely in their own home, providing peace of mind for their families and carers. Telecare is known for its community alarms and warden call systems, using electronic equipment and sensors around the home to detect risks such as fires, floods and falls. If a risk is detected, an alert will be sent to a monitoring centre and the customer’s family will be immediately notified.
Julie Walker, Social Obligations Manager at SSEN, said:
“As a responsible network operator, particularly as we’re now in the winter months, it is vital we reach out to eligible customers who may need extra assistance during a power cut to make sure they are receiving the free help and support they’re entitled to. Our priority is to provide a safe and secure supply of electricity to our communities in the north of Scotland, but as we saw during Storm Caroline there are still some situations beyond our control when adverse weather conditions can affect customer supplies.
“By partnering with organisations like NHS Highland and building on our current relationship, we can help support customers who are living independently at home relying on electronic equipment to keep them safe. We are delighted to develop our partnership with NHS Highland even further by moving forward with our data sharing agreement, and we hope this helps as many clients in the Highlands as possible, some of whom live in very remote and rural locations.”
Mairi McIvor, Technology Enabled Care Lead at NHS Highland, said:
“We wrote to all of our telecare clients to tell them about the free Priority Services Register enclosing a leaflet explaining how they could register. Many of our clients registered directly with the Priority Services Register and have already received calls from Scottish and Southern Electricity Networks prior to poor weather forecasts.
“One of our clients let us know that he was pleased to receive their call. It reminded him to have his torch nearby and ready to use, have some warm clothing and blankets available and prepare some food and hot drinks in case the power went off. He said “it was nice that someone cared enough to phone me, thank you”. We are delighted that this data sharing agreement will now allow more NHS Highland Telecare clients to benefit from the service.”
SSEN’s customers can join the PSR if they are dependent on electricity for home medical care; have a chronic illness or short term medical needs; are disabled; have special communication needs; are over the age of 60; have a child under the age of five at home or for any other reason feel they may need extra support during a power cut.
For more information on SSEN’s Priority Services Register, please visit ssen.co.uk/PriorityServices, or to register call 0800 294 3259 or 0800 316 5457 to register using a text phone.