A senior NHS leader has warned of a “life-threatening” situation in which clinically vulnerable people are being admitted to hospital after having their energy supplies disconnected.
Sam Allen, chief executive of North East and North Cumbria Integrated Care Board (ICB), has written to Ofgem today to raise “serious concerns” that vulnerable people have seen their electricity or gas services disconnected as a result of non-payment.
In the letter, which the ICB has published on its website, Ms Allen said the impact of energy supplies being cut off “will be life threatening for some people” and place additional demand on already stretched health and social care services.
She wrote: “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.
“This is impacting on people who live independently at home, with the support from our community health services team and are reliant on using electric devices for survival.
“An example of this is oxygen; and there will be many other examples. There is also a similar concern for clinically vulnerable people with mental health needs who may find themselves without energy supply.
“Put simply, the impact of having their energy supply terminated will be life threatening for some people as well as placing additional demands on already stretched health and social care services.”
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Source: HSJ, 5 September 2022
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