Highlands and Islands Labour MSP and Shadow Minister for Health Inequalities, Rhoda Grant, has welcomed proactive action being taken by NHS Western Isles to mitigate disruption during power failures.
After meeting with engineers who braved appalling weather conditions to reconnect homes and properties during the atrocious storms experienced in January, the MSP wrote to all health boards in the Highlands and Islands region advising them of Scottish Hydro Electric Power Distribution’s ‘Priority Services Register’, encouraging the health boards to promote the register amongst vulnerable people in their area.
Mrs Grant says she is delighted to be advised by the Chief Executive of NHS Western Isles that they have been in contact with Scottish Hydro Electric about the register and that they annually review requirements of battery back up and deliver these directly to households if they are required. The health board is also reviewing emergency generator supply to all of their GP practices and will bring the Priority Services Register to the attention of the next Emergency Planning Group meeting.
Commenting, Mrs Grant said: “The Emergency Planning Group did an outstanding job, in extremely difficult circumstances, in ensuring that those who needed assistance got assistance and that homes and premises were reconnected as quickly as possible over the sustained period of the storms in January. Those efforts were hugely appreciated by people the length and breadth of the islands and I am pleased to hear that planning continues to make services as robust as possible during periods of challenging weather.
Mrs Grant continued: “Anyone who may be vulnerable without electricity, whether that is due to a medical condition, age, disability or having babies under 12 months, should add their details to the register as it could just save lives.”