Ofgem has been warned by the NHS that some of the UK’s most “clinically vulnerable people” are being admitted to hospital as a result of being “disconnected from their home energy supply.”
Ofgem has warned that millions across the UK will face a “winter of discontent” which will leave many households being forced “to chose between heating or eating.”
Samantha Allen, chief executive of the NHS in the North East and Cumbria has slammed the regulator for disconnecting their gas and electricity for those who are unable to pay their bills and she is asking Ofgem to “save lives” this coming winter.
In an unprecedented move the NHS chief wrote to Ofgem and said, “It has come to light that we are starting to see examples where clinically vulnerable people have been disconnected from their home energy supply which has then led to a hospital admission.
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“This is impacting on people who live independently at home, with support from our community health services team, and are reliant on using electric devices for survival.
“It is my understanding that those people deemed clinically vulnerable cannot have their energy supply disconnected.
“Based on some examples, along with the contact we are having with many clinically vulnerable people, it is clear that significant concern exists across our communities.
“Put simply, the impact of having their energy supply terminated will be life-threatening for some people.
“All of this will place additional demands on already stretched health and social care services.”
Allen’s letter concluded, “Finally, as energy prices rise, we are all conscious of the impact this will have on those people who cannot afford to pay for their energy.
“This is of grave concern to everyone, I am sure, especially given the evidence relating to excess winter deaths and serious illnesses as a result of cold weather.
“I, therefore, ask you to reconsider the disconnection policy for all energy companies and mirror that which is in place within the Water Industry where domestic supplies cannot be disconnected.
“In doing so, I am confident that this will save lives.”