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Southern Water changes policy to allow more people to register for priority water services

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Southern Water which provides water and wastewater services across Sussex has always offered an important Priority Service Register – a way for those who require water a little more urgently or extra help with getting bottled water during an outage, to register themselves for support.   It also allows Southern Water to tailor its services to customers’ individual needs.

Previously individuals had to register themselves however, due to the current situation the company has changed its policy to allow family members and trusted third parties (such as support agencies or charities)

Rachel Ryan-Crisp, Southern Water’s Vulnerability Lead says:

“This list is an extremely important service for Southern Water and one we are keen for everyone to be aware of! It is our duty to provide all residents within our regions with a supply of fresh drinking water and this list allows us to ensure this remains the case for the most-in-need at times when supply may be compromised. If supply is cut off then the people on this list will receive bottled water straight to their door – and not be required to collect from a collection point.  It also allows to look after our customers if they have any additional needs.

“We want to take this opportunity to urge people to check that their friends and family are aware of this list and, if they require a little bit of assistance, are registered, and if not then they can now help them do so.”

It is worth noting that there are many reason why people may qualify to be on the list, those with medical needs, underlying health conditions, the immobile or the elderly. There are also a number of reasons why people may wish to temporarily be added to the list – such as people who have recently been in hospital, have had an operation and parents of young children.

Ryan-Crisp adds:

“We sometimes find people feel reluctant to be thought of as vulnerable, and therefore we wish to make it clear that this list isn’t about the individual being vulnerable.   It is about allowing us to provide them with any additional assistance they may need, whether that is a constant supply of water, tailored communications or just a little bit of extra understanding when you are speaking to us.. If you think you might need a little extra help, please ensure you’re on the list.”

Southern Water customers can find out more and register on line at https://www.southernwater.co.uk/register-for-individual-needs 

Coronavirus

Powerful viruscide used across Southern Rails stations and trains to kill Coronavirus

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Govia Thameslink Railway’s entire fleet of Southern, Thameslink, Great Northern and Gatwick Express trains, plus stations and staff areas have been treated with a powerful new viruscide which sticks to surfaces, killing the Coronavirus for up to 30 days.

The product further improves GTR’s already-enhanced cleaning regime, in which stations and staff areas are treated with more short-term viruscides, and all 2,700 of its train carriages are sanitised every night.

While the current advice remains to only use public transport if you absolutely have to, the product provides another layer of protection for passengers who do need to travel such as key workers and staff who are valiantly supporting the national effort on the front line.

To help support everyone’s focus on keeping their hands clean, GTR has also ordered 1,000 no-touch hand sanitisers for staff and passengers which are being distributed to stations. 

A specially-developed app also tells staff at-a-glance when each train carriage was last cleaned with the long-lasting viruscide.

Engineering Director Steve Lammin said:

“Since the outbreak of this pandemic we have been doing all we can to protect our passengers and staff by ensuring our trains, and stations have enhanced cleaning regimes, and a switch in focus to high-touch areas and the increased use of anti-viral agents.

“We are now using a product that will kill Coronavirus for up to 30 days and we are applying this to surfaces across our network on a 21-day cycle. We want to do everything possible to work with passengers and staff to keep them safe and this will further protect everyone who is working so hard for this country.”

Electrostatic ‘wands’ (pictured and on video) have been used around stations and staff areas and GTR is deploying ‘Storm’ virus-killer backpacks which were used in NHS Nightingale Hospitals, as they cover large areas quickly. On trains, the new product needs to be applied traditionally with a microfibre cloth. In all locations, it is applied only after the entire surface area has been thoroughly cleaned and degreased.

Stations, trains and staff areas were already receiving enhanced cleans through additional extra staff, new 24-hour viruscide products and a switch to focus attention on passenger and staff touchpoints. Use of the 30-day viruscide will help GTR renew its focus on out of reach places to further improve the appearance of trains.

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