NHS bill rebate announced

NHS frontline workers are being offered a £50 water bill rebate by Bristol Water and Wessex Water

More than 5,000 frontline NHS workers that are required to wash their uniform at home and more often during the current coronavirus (Covid-19) outbreak have applied for a water bill rebate from Bristol Water and Wessex Water. The water companies joined forces to introduce support for those NHS individuals on a water meter who would have seen an increase in their water bill due to uniform laundering guidance for infection prevention instructing uniforms have to be washed separately; not on a full load; and at a higher temperature. Those eligible for the rebate can claim up to £50 off their bill, ensuring they won’t be paying more than they normally would.

Within days of the companies launching the uniform washing rebate, more than 5,000 frontline NHS workers, including nurses, doctors and paramedics, from the region, had applied. NHS worker Karen Triggs said: “As we are following strict national guidance on infection prevention and control we need to wash our uniforms more and my machine can be on twice a day. “This is a really challenging time for the NHS and our colleagues really appreciate all the help that we are getting from organisations such as Wessex Water. We’d like to thank them for their amazing support.” Paramedic Laura Brown took to Twitter adding: “My poor washing machine is certainly taking a battering.”

Charley Maher, Executive Director of Retail and Commercial, who runs Bristol Water’s and Wessex Water’s billing services company, said: “We felt it was only right that a rebate should be provided in recognition of NHS workers who are washing their own uniforms at home. “During this period the NHS uniformed staff are having to wash their clothes more often as they are working more shifts than in normal times. And all their clothes now have to be washed separately to their normal loads. “We don’t think it’s fair for these workers to pay more for their water given that they are at the very front line of the fight against Coronavirus , which is why we’re offering the rebate.”

The rebate applies to customers on a water meter who receive their water supply from Bristol Water and Wessex Water. Both companies also help all customers who are struggling to pay their bill through a range of financial support measures. They offer a number of alternative payment arrangements alongside a range of social tariffs designed to make water bills more affordable.

Bristol Water and Wessex Water encourage anyone having problems to get in touch so that individual circumstances can be discussed and the best support provided.