Extra month for divers’ views on pot cuts

archive – Diving NewsExtra month for divers' views on pot cuts

Concerned scuba divers have been given an extra month in which to respond to an NHS England proposal to cut by a fifth the number of hyperbaric oxygen therapy chambers in the country.

The original public consultation was announced on Divernet on 20 January, at which point respondents had until 14 February to put their views.

This closing date has now been extended to 16 March.

The proposal is to cut the number of hyperbaric facilities in England from 10 to 8, on the basis that non-diving-related treatments provided there could as well be offered by conventional hospitals.

The British Sub-Aqua Club, the sport’s governing body, has now weighed in by stating its opposition to the proposed cuts on the grounds that they would introduce an unacceptable level of risk to divers.

“Longer travel times before recompression would reduce the effectiveness of treatment, increasing the chance of long-term damage to the diver, or in the worst cases, an unnecessary fatality,” it says.

The club has counter-proposed that instead of cutting back, an additional facility should be provided in the North of England.

BSAC says that it has worked with the British Hyperbaric Association, British Divers Safety Group (BDSG), Diving Diseases Research Centre (DDRC) and London Chambers (London Hyperbaric and London Diving Chamber) in formulating its response, which it hopes will lead NHS Healthcare to rethink its proposal.

Take part in the survey here.

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