Oxygen servicehelping patients in their homes

'˜HOS-AR, the Northern Trust's Home Oxygen Service, Assessment and Review has made a significant difference to the lives of those people who require oxygen in the area.

Lorraine Robinson taking part in a timed walking test as part of her care from the Northern Trusts Home Oxygen Service, Assessment and Review (HOS-AR), pictured with Tanya Burnside, Respiratory Nurse and Katherine Smyth, Respiratory Support Assistant. (Submitted Pic.)

It assesses and reviews all patients who are prescribed oxygen enabling them to manage respiratory conditions better and remain in their own home. Reviews identify problems earlier resulting in reduced attendances at the emergency department and fewer admissions to hospital.

It is another example of how the Trust is working to treat people in their own home environment and improve their quality of life.

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The service is provided in each of the four localities in the Northern Trust area, by the Integrated Respiratory Specialist Team in each of the four localities in the Northern Trust area. The Team can also make home visits for those people who cannot travel to a clinic.

The initiative was designed and developed through the four Integrated Care Partnerships (ICPs) in the Northern area and has been funded by the Northern Local Commissioning Group. ICPs are collaborative networks of care providers, bringing together healthcare professionals; the voluntary and community sectors; local council representatives and service users and carers, to design and coordinate local health and social care services.

It was also identified that patients who had been prescribed oxygen and had subsequently recovered were still using it even though they no longer needed it. HOS-AR has been able to determine the most appropriate treatment and ensures if a patient no longer needs oxygen that they are supported to come off it. This has the potential to reduce costs and ensure that oxygen treatment is used efficiently for those people who need it.

Since it has been introduced over 1000 patients have been referred to the service. Of that, just over a quarter of people no longer required oxygen and it prevented people having to be admitted to hospital on 66 occasions.

Caroline Speedy, Respiratory Service Improvement Manager in the Northern Trust, said: “The Integrated Respiratory Specialist Team always strives to improve services and patient care for those with respiratory disease. HOS-AR has allowed us to make a positive impact on the patients with oxygen therapy and ensure they receive the support they require.”

Lorraine Robinson, who has received care from HOS-AR and had oxygen for two years said: “Before I got ambulatory oxygen I did not want to go out because I had no puff. Now I have an oxygen tank and a conserver and I am able to get out and about more and do a little house work, which my husband had to do before. My quality of life is much better.”