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30% of oxygen orders go wrong

The changeover of home oxygen provision is continuing to create havoc in primary care, with an error rate of 30% on order forms to private companies, Pulse has learned.

The problem with home oxygen order forms is the latest addition to the list of woes that have bedevilled the botched reforms of home oxygen supply.A redesign of the forms is being considered amid fears the error rate is loading work onto GPs already struggling with a lack of specialist respiratory assessment teams.Dr Ian Millington, secretary of Morgannwg LMC, said feedback from the oxygen therapy reference group in Wales indicated the error rate on forms was around 30%.'My experience is if there is that degree of error there is something wrong with the form. It is under review.'The lack of specialist respiratory teams is also causing problems – as it means assessing the needs of patients using oxygen either isn't being done or is falling to GPs.Dr Millington believes the role of GPs should be limited to ordering oxygen in emergency and palliative care situations.Air Products, which supplies oxygen in Wales, refused to comment.Following the botched changeover to supply by private companies last year, GPs complained patient safety had been endangered, with reports some patients were left without oxygen. Problems with the new system have also cost the NHS millions of pounds in unnecessary orders.

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