United Utilities and Kidney Care UK partner to give North West kidney patients additional support

North West water company United Utilities and the UK’s leading kidney patient support charity Kidney Care UK have formed a partnership to provide vital support to people with chronic kidney disease (CKD) in the region.

Together they will offer additional help to the 415,000 people who in the region who are living with chronic kidney disease. The partnership will focus on supporting around 55,000 people in the most deprived areas in Liverpool, Manchester, Salford and Lancashire.

Every kidney patient in the North West of England will be able to access the help through the United Utilities Priority Services register. The support available includes advice on water supply issues, assistance if taps stop flowing, help with household bills, and more.

People with kidney disease have been disproportionately affected by the cost of living crisis, particularly when it comes to utility usage and costs. Many people with kidney failure also have anaemia so they will always feel very cold no matter what the weather and puts particular strain on energy bills.

Home dialysis in particular is very energy intensive and requires a considerable amount of water usage. This treatment relies on a machine doing the work of your kidneys and filters your blood for hours at a time. Home dialysis machines can use as much as 7,502 litres a week. That works out as the equivalent of almost 80 showers a week, on top of usual water usage.

Laurie Cuthbert, Director of Fundraising, Marketing and Communications, said: “By working together with United Utilities, we can directly support 55,000 people with CKD in the most deprived areas of the North West. In addition, this partnership gives us the opportunity to raise awareness of the support we can offer to more than 400,000 people affected by kidney disease at a time when this support is more important, and more needed, than ever.”

Amanda Phillips, Priority Services Partnerships and Engagement Lead at United Utilities, said: “We’re really pleased to partner with Kidney Care UK as part of our Priority Services scheme.

“We know that people living with kidney disease may be using more water, or could benefit from extra support in the event of issues with their supply, so by working with Kidney Care UK we aim to raise awareness of the ways we can help. We will also develop our knowledge so that we can further enhance our service to those with kidney disease.”

Last week (13th July) United Utilities held its second Customer Vulnerability Summit, bringing together local authorities, utility companies, charities, community and voluntary organisations, and carers to discuss how agencies can work together in supporting people across the North West. United Utilities showcased its Priority Services scheme, which offers help to any customer, whether due to illness, disabilities, mental health, financial concerns, life events or language barriers.

Amanda Phillips explained: “Our Priority Services register is open to anyone across the North West who may benefit from additional support, from bills in different formats, debt support, or providing bottled water when there’s a burst. It’s free to join and people can register friends or family members too.  Plus we’ll get in contact every two years to make sure we still have the correct details.”

To find out more about Priority Services or to register online, visit https://www.unitedutilities.com/priorityservices.

To find out about additional help and support on offer from United Utilities, visit: https://www.unitedutilities.com/help-and-support/