‘Medical oxygen’ capacity has been doubled at Conquest Hospital and Eastbourne DGH, to help with our Covid-19 response, and for use in a other vital treatment for respiratory illness and disease.
Following the completion of an extensive oxygen supply upgrade project, the Trust now has 2.5 times the flow rate of oxygen, with the installation of new oxygen storage cylinders at each hospital site and new larger capacity distribution pipes across these hospitals.
The five month project has been undertaken in multiple phases to enable areas of the hospitals to be switched over to the new distribution system whilst maintaining the supply. Many departments across the Trust have worked together to achieve this significantly increased oxygen capacity.
Chris Hodgson, Director of Estates and Facilities at ESHT said: “This has been a great team effort to deliver this massive project. We now have 2.5 times the oxygen flow rate and double the oxygen capacity across our two main hospitals, which will benefit many patients and has been a vital part of our Covid-19 response. This work, led and coordinated by the Estates and Facilities team, has had its logistical challenges and required a great deal of operational and clinical support from many teams throughout our hospitals. I am very grateful to all those who have pulled together to make this happen in such a short space of time. It is yet another example of how our marvellous teams continuing to work together during challenging times for the benefit of patients.”
Demand for ‘medical oxygen’ to treat patients with Covid-19 rose sharply in recent months. Oxygen is a molecule that is free in the air but to use as medical oxygen, it needs both technology and the appropriate pipe mechanisms to deliver it.
This project was commissioned, not due to a lack of an oxygen supply, but the inability of the existing hospital pipes to physically deliver the volume of gas needed by Covid-19 patients, who can suffer hypoxia or oxygen deprivation. NHS England estimate that demand for oxygen has surged five-fold in some NHS hospitals, due to the pandemic.