Hospital boss confirms shortage of oxygen despite Trust's comment to the contrary

  Posted: 11.01.21 at 10:42 by The Editor

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DESPITE public assurances to the contrary only last week, it has now been confirmed that the hospitals trust that serves the Mid and South East Essex region – including Basildon & Thurrock Hospital – has a problem with the supply of oxygen.

Thurrock Nub News raised the issue with the Trust last week but we were categorically assured that there was not a problem and received this emphatic response: “Mid and South NHS Foundation Trust are not running low or out of our oxygen supply.”

However, it appears the statement was not a reflection of the current situation and today it has been confirmed that the hospital is starting to ration supplies and is in a ‘critical situation’.

An internal document has confirmed that patients receiving oxygen should have their supply 'weaned'.

The memo says: "We have reached a critical situation with oxygen supply. It is imperative we use oxygen safely and efficiently.

"All patients should have a target saturation of 88-92 per cent.

"Patients with a saturation above 92 per cent which are on oxygen should have their oxygen weaned within a target range."

The writer of the memo, Southend Hospital Managing Director Yvonne Butcher, adds: "I can assure all that maintaining saturations within this target range is safe an no patient will come to harm as a result.

"It is imperative that this is acted on immediately."

In the wake of the leaked memo Ms Butcher has also been quoted by the BBC as saying the Trust was "working to manage" the situation.

She added: ""We are experiencing high demand for oxygen because of rising numbers of inpatients with Covid-19 and we are working to manage this," she said.

"The public can play their part by staying home and, where they cannot, following the 'hands, face, space' advice to cut the spread of the virus."

Thurrock Nub News' history writer Susan Yates brings a personal connection to her latest feature on days gone by in the borough. ________...