Hospital of St John & St Elizabeth WHATISBOBO

Potential Hyperbaric Chamber Closures

URGENT: POTENTIAL CLOSURE OF HYPERBARIC CHAMBERS

NHS England's public consultations for hyperbaric oxygen therapy (HBOT) opened recently - see NHS public HBOT consultations and below for the specific policy on decompression illness:

NHS HBOT policy

They include a proposal to reduce the number of current chamber facilities from 10 to 8, with the closure of one London chamber and one in the South. The link to this consultation is here:

NHS chamber reduction proposal

This proposal has many possibly detrimental ramifications, including:

increasing transport times for injured divers to an appropriate chamber, conceivably worsening their outcomes

a reduction in national capacity to treat multiple simultaneous incidents

deskilling of highly trained chamber staff, with implications for the quality of care they are able to provide

the loss of services such as medicals, training courses, dry dives, email and telephone advice

a reduction in the provision of hyperbaric oxygen therapy for non-diving conditions eg. diabetic foot ulcers, soft tissue radiation damage, carbon monoxide poisoning

WHAT YOU CAN DO:

If you have any feelings to express about the future of HBOT provision in England, then now is the time to make your opinions known. The consultation closes on February 14th, but please make any contributions as soon as you can, by going to this link:

NHS HBOT review

Please also forward this on to anyone whom you think might also wish to have a say. Use any available means including social media, newsletters, forums, word of mouth and please keep the pressure up (pun intended). Thank you.

Kind regards

Dr Oliver Firth MB BS BSc MRCGP

Hyperbaric Physician

Medical Director

HJE & WHATISBOBO