NHS on mission to increase oxygen supply as coronavirus cases surge

By Jamie Hill - 6 April 2020

Health

In a bid to stave off oxygen supply shortages NHS Trusts across the country are working together to make sure there is always ready supply for the hospitals that need it most.

Several NHS trusts in London will get engineering support to increase their oxygen supplies, amid concerns that hospitals are running short of medical gases.

A first group of trusts in London have been prioritised for support, based on their plans to ramp up critical care “surge” capacity in response to Covid-19.

It comes amid increasing concerns over oxygen supplies, which are needed for ventilation machines to support covid-19 patients needing critical care.

This was highlighted especially on Saturday after Watford General Hospital had to tell the public not to attend the emergency department due to a 'technical issue' with its oxygen equipment.

In the Government’s daily briefing, health and social care secretary Matt Hancock said the “quantity and supply of oxygen is something we’ve been working very hard on and we have a very high degree of confidence in the supply.”

Dr Jenny Harries, the deputy chief medical officer for England, said the “alerts” demonstrated a strength in the system, because it meant problems of supply were flagged “before they become a problem” and could be dealt with.

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