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Service Spotlight – Community Oxygen Service

Benefits of the Wiltshire Health and Care Community Oxygen Service were presented to members of the Board in the Service Spotlight during the November meeting by Sarah-Jane Peffers, Director of Quality, Professions and Workforce.  It was a great opportunity to highlight the good work the team carries out; the benefits to patients as well as the hospitals and the Clinical Commissioning Group but also to discuss to the challenges and opportunities the service faces.

The service is currently supporting over 420 patients requiring oxygen across North, East and West of Wiltshire.  South Wiltshire patients receive a service from Salisbury Foundation Trust.

Our team delivers care closer to home, enabling patients to be seen within the community rather than attending a hospital appointment which may be more difficult for them.  We know that our patients like the service and regularly receive feedback saying:

By seeing patients in their homes, we have delivered considerable savings to the commissioners through appropriate prescribing to patients who require oxygen and by supplying them with equipment that met their needs.

Various challenges were discussed, including:

  • Limited capacity and capacity being ‘swamped’ by increasing need.
  • No commissioning arrangements for people prescribed oxygen without a COPD diagnosis.
  • Inequity of service across the county, for instance, no home visits are undertaken in the South of Wiltshire.
  • Prescribing of ambulatory oxygen for people with cluster headaches without community follow-up.
  • Increasing numbers of incidents reported where patients continue to smoke whilst using oxygen, presenting a huge risk to the patient and to their families.

There are opportunities to further expand the oxygen service and improve patient experience across the county by working with our partners to deliver a more community focused service for South Wiltshire as well as supporting better discharge arrangements in general.  Further to this, Wiltshire Health and Care could increase the service inclusion to support people with other conditions requiring oxygen and work more closely with the centres prescribing NIV.

The Board felt the presentation highlighted lots of areas for consideration and want to thank the Oxygen Service team for their on-going efforts to provide our patients with excellent support and care.

If you are a patient who has used or is currently using the Oxygen Service and would like to provide feedback, please complete a quick survey online or contact the Patient and Public Involvement Officer on 01249 454386 or email lina.middleton@nhs.net