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To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what assessment he has made of the adequacy of the reserves of oxygen used to treat patient’s in respiratory distress at healthcare providers in England.
The Department has well-established procedures to deal with supply problems affecting all medical products and supplies and work closely with industry, the National Health Service and others in the supply chain to help prevent shortages and to ensure that the risks to patients are minimised.
A product supply response group has been set up to manage supply of products and to support any response to shortages required for the COVID-19 outbreak. The group is also considering the potential mid to long-term impacts of the outbreak globally.
NHS England and NHS Improvement are conducting detailed assessments of current capability and capacity with regard to ventilation devices and capacity to deliver oxygen to patients. In addition, the Department is in dialogue with current and potential oxygen suppliers to ensure that supply/stored levels at hospital sites are increased, that the manufacture of oxygen is increased and that appropriate contingency plans are in place to maintain the oxygen supply chain.