Safe and Warm

Kidney Care UK and PSR Scotland 

Supporting dialysis patients across Scotland through the PSR

Our project at a glance 

  • Priority vulnerability group: Critically ill people  
  • Strategic priority area: Supporting priority vulnerability groups to access tailored support services 
  • Support target:38,875 households over 14 months 
  • Duration: April 2023 to June 2024 
  • Investment: £28,260 over 14 months 
  • Forecast SROI: £26.05 

Why we’re working together 

Chronic kidney disease (CKD) is a common, long term and irreversible condition affecting 180,000 across Scotland. Almost 50% of people in Scotland on dialysis live in highly deprived areas.

Increased energy use combined with a low income and lack of employment options means that dialysis patients are at high risk of falling further into fuel poverty.

Of the 14,000 people living with kidney failure in Scotland, less than 10% are currently on the Priority Services Register and even fewer on the water companies’ PSR. Both of which are absolutely critical for people on dialysis who face a medical emergency if there is a power cut or disruption to their water supply.

If your kidneys fail, dialysis treatment is vital to keep you alive and improve your quality of life. Dialysis can take up to four hours a day, three days a week, week after week. Due to the time constraints and health impacts associated with this treatment, almost three-quarters of dialysis patients are unable to work. 

Utilities across Scotland have traditionally found it challenging to reach people with CKD who are dialysing at home and struggling to afford to keep themselves warm and well.

Together with Kidney Care UK, Scottish Water, Scottish Power Energy Networks, Scottish and Southern Energy Networks, NHS Scotland and renal units, we’re proudly working to reach almost 39,000 dialysis patients with useful information about their utilities and how to access holistic energy safeguarding and advice services across Scotland.

Project objectives 

  • Reaching 38,875 people with information on joining the Priority Services Register 
  • Providing advice on energy matters to 5,328 people living with kidney failure  
  • Helping 3,729 households to join the Priority Services Register 
  • Providing carbon monoxide safety advice and offering free CO alarms to households most at risk of CO harm 
Media library image
A kidney patient having dialysis is speaking with one of the Kidney Care UK team

How we’re working together 

One-to-one energy safeguarding   

Our face-to-face support services are being delivered in partnership with the Kidney Care UK Patient Support and Advocacy Officers (PSAOs) across Aberdeen, Dundee, Glasgow and Perth. We’re targeting these areas due to financial deprivation and as representation on the Priority Services Register is low.  

We’re also delivering free and impartial energy safeguarding and wellbeing support through community-based renal units and GP surgeries.   

Energy safeguarding training  

We’re delivering energy safeguarding training to PSAOs so they can triage and support kidney patients with energy advisory services. The PSAOs ensure patients and families at risk of financial hardship will receive counselling, advocacy, dietary advice and direct financial support through Kidney Care UK’s own financial resources, as well as providing access to energy safeguarding services though our joint-GDN partnership

Raising awareness of the Priority Services Register 

We’re raising awareness of the PSR, and carbon monoxide safety, among people living with kidney failure through various communications channels. This includes community events, direct marketing, social media and newsletters. We aim to reach almost 40,000 through these channels during our 14-month partnership.  

How to get involved 

Accessing support from Kidney Care UK in Scotland  

As one of our VCMA network partners, you can refer your clients in Scotland who are living with kidney disease for specialist support from Kidney Care UK by directing them to

If you’re a kidney patient living in Scotland, Kidney Care UK offers a range of free services and confidential advice for you and your family. You can find out more on the Kidney Care UK website or by calling the team on 01420 541 424.  

Becoming a Kidney Care UK partner 

You can find out more about working with Kidney Care UK on the charity’s website.

By working collaboratively in this way we are able to directly support thousands of people with CKD in some of the most deprived areas of Scotland, reaching more than 38,000 people who could benefit from the wider support and information services our charity provides.

Laurie Cuthbert

Director of Fundraising, Marketing & Communications, Kidney Care UK