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Hospital Healthcare Europe

Home oxygen therapy


28 July, 2008  

Auditors have revealed that the NHS was not fully prepared for the major changes in home oxygen services.

In February 2006, a five-year contract with Air products was signed to integrate the supply of home oxygen services.

These arrangements failed almost immediately as the company were provided with inaccurate information by the NHS and were not prepared for the demand of the equipment along with additional problems regarding time and order forms at GP practices.

The Auditor General for Wales, said: “The change in the arrangements for home oxygen services was not well managed and the reasons why those arrangements failed were foreseeable. It is disappointing that some of the intended benefits to patients have yet to emerge.”

The service in Wales is costing around GBP 6million a year, a figure three times the original estimate of GBP 2million.

The assembly government have responded quickly to the problem by instructing local health boards to return to the original system were the cylinders were collected from the local chemists with a prescription from their GP.

Wales Audit Office