Charity warns on change to patient oxygen supply

Oxygen suppliers must learn from the problems of 2006 and ensure all patients are contacted before supply arrangements change, the British Lung Foundation has said.

Oxygen services can be reviewed (Photograph: SPL)
Oxygen services can be reviewed (Photograph: SPL)

Next year, management of home oxygen supply contracts in England and Wales will move from the DoH to the NHS. In 2006, two patients died while waiting for oxygen to arrive after home oxygen supply services were transferred from individual community pharmacies to four private companies.

Chris Mulholland, head of British Lung Foundation Wales, said the latest changes gave the NHS a chance to review oxygen services.

'Lessons will have been learned from the time when the change to oxygen services was previously brought in,' she said.

'This should mean the process will be patient-focused by ensuring that all suppliers must have a customer contact centre, all people on oxygen are written to prior to their supplier changing and there are tighter response times for queries.'

She added: 'The British Lung Foundation would like to see a full range of services and equipment made available to those who need it.'

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