Electrical medical equipment and power cuts
It's important to know what to do if a power cut happens. And if you have electrical medical equipment, it's even more important you're prepared.
Medical equipment that uses electricity includes home dialysis machines, oxygen concentrators and artificial ventilators. Power cuts will affect things like stairlifts, bath hoists and adjustable beds, too.
How to prepare
There are a few different things you should do to prepare for a power cut if you rely on electrical medical equipment.
Join our Priority Services Register
It's important you ask us to add your details to our Priority Services Register. To do this call our Careline team on 0800 622 838. We're available to help from 8am to 8pm Monday to Friday, and 8am to 2pm Saturday.
If you agree, we'll also let your network operator know you need electricity for the medical equipment you're using.
Your network operator will tell you beforehand if there's going to be a planned interruption to your electricity supply. This is normally due to essential maintenance work.
Many network operators can offer you other services if you're on the Priority Services Register. These include access to 24-hour priority phone numbers, regular updates and extra help during power cuts.
You can also agree a password with your network operator, which their employees will need to tell you when they visit you. That way, you'll know who they are when you answer the door.
Talk to your carer or doctor
If a power cut will affect your medical equipment, discuss this with your carer, health professional or doctor.
They'll be able to help you plan what you should do if you lose your electricity supply.
Your plan should include dialling Emergency Number 105, this will connect you directly to your local network operator who can give you help and advice during a power cut.
Prepare a battery back-up
Make sure that any essential medical equipment has a battery back-up.
You can then use this to power it if your mains supply goes off.
If you have a stairlift, it'll stop working if the power goes off. However, if it has a manual release handle, you can use this to return the lift to the ground floor.
Your stairlift might have a battery to provide back-up power. This means you can keep using it, even if the power's out.