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Health chief welcomes Ofgem report but concerns remain for the most vulnerable

Samantha Allen, chief executive of the NHS North East and North Cumbria Integrated Care Board has today welcomed a report published by Ofgem in how energy suppliers are helping customers this winter and beyond.

This follows the open publication of two letters issued to Ofgem by the Integrated Care Board in September and October which warned of grave issues linked to the disruption of energy supply and the impact this will have on the health of the region's most vulnerable communities.

Chief executive, Samantha Allen, said: "I am pleased to see that Ofgem has responded to the concerns raised within my letters and is clearly starting to take the action within the industry to safeguard those most vulnerable. 

"However, some of the findings are worrying with many energy companies, who are supplying millions of homes with energy, required to take further action and do more to support those who need it most.

"It is inconceivable to consider that we are in fact in a position where we have to remind these companies of their responsibility to support their customers. For us this is a matter of life and death.

"With this in mind, I would like to take this opportunity to repeat my calls for action in some key areas including reconsideration of the disconnection policy for all energy companies and mirror that which is in place within the water industry where domestic supplies cannot be disconnected. In doing so, I am confident that this will save lives. As well as mandating the need for all UK energy suppliers to sign up to the Energy UK Vulnerability Commitment, making this a condition of all energy companies license to work with the NHS and other key partners to consider what further action we can take together to ensure we support the most vulnerable."

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