Rolling power cuts enforced this winter if gas supplies run extremely low could endanger thousands of people who use life-saving machines at home, health leaders have warned.
They spoke out after National Grid warned on Thursday that households could experience a series of three-hour electricity outages this winter to manage extreme gas shortages, for example if Vladimir Putin shuts off supplies from Russia and cold weather sends demand soaring.
Such an event would mean consumers in different parts of the country being notified a day in advance of three-hour blocks of time during which their power would be cut off.
The prospect of rolling power outages caused alarm among some health groups, with particular concerns for the thousands of vulnerable patients who rely on electrical devices to keep themselves alive and healthy.
Laurie Cuthbert, a director of Kidney Care UK, a health charity, said thousands of adults and children depended on a constant source of power to provide life-saving dialysis at home.
Andy Fletcher, the chief executive of Together for Short Lives, which advocates for the UK’s 99,000 seriously ill children and their families, said: “For seriously ill children a three-hour blackout could deprive them of vital life-saving equipment such as ventilators, oxygen and temperature control. Families would be forced to decide whether to admit their child to hospital, which would be extremely disruptive and distressing.”
Source: The Guardian, 6 October 2022
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