The Trust now has 2.5 times the flow rate of oxygen and has doubled its previous capacity of oxygen, following the completion of an extensive oxygen supply upgrade project. 

‘Medical oxygen’ is a vital treatment for respiratory illness and disease. Increased oxygen capacity and flow at both Eastbourne District General and Conquest Hospital is due to the installation of two new oxygen storage cylinders on each hospital site and a new larger capacity distribution pipes across the 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 supply within the hospitals.  Many departments across the Trust have worked together to achieve a significant increase oxygen capacity at both Eastbourne DGH and Conquest Hospital.

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 Covid19 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 one needs both technology and the appropriate pipe mechanisms to deliver it.

This project was commissioned, not due to a lack of oxygen, but the inability of the 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.