§ Mr. Carter-Jones
asked the Secretary of State for Social Services if he will publish the latest financial cost per annum in providing oxygen therapy by means of (a) oxygen concentrators and (b) oxygen cylinders; and if he will make a statement.
§ Mr. John Patten
The total cost to the family practitioner services in England of the domiciliary oxygen service was £8.4 million in 1983–84. Only cylinders are supplied. Concentrators are available only through the hospital service at present and no information on the costs of domiciliary installations is collected centrally. We plan to introduce concentrators into the domiciliary service for high volume users later this year, since this is a more cost effective form of supply. Detailed calculations of the savings likely to be achieved will be available when tenders have been evaluated. Meanwhile, the latest available figures on the relative costs of cylinders and concentrators are those contained in the North Western regional health authority's report on the pilot study of oxygen concentrators.