Friday 29 June 2018
HSC today announced that it has placed an order to purchase a new hyperbaric chamber to serve the Bailiwick. It is anticipated that the new chamber will arrive in Q4 this year.
With the existing facility provided through a rental agreement, HSC was limited in its ability to reduce the fees it charged users of the chamber, because it was obliged to cover the costs incurred for its provision (circa £60k per annum on rental charges alone). As such, divers had expressed concern that some of their insurance providers were not willing to provide cover for fees which HSC had set.
The decision to purchase a hyperbaric chamber rather than continue to rent the facility has enabled HSC to significantly review its charging policy for future users of the chamber and reflect the fact that rental costs will no longer have to be recovered. The new charging structure, which Members have decided shall be effective from 1st June 2018 for treatments using the hyperbaric chamber uses our established Emergency Department (ED) charges, and will be calculated as follows:
Service users who present at ED requiring treatment for suspected decompression sickness will now be charged the relevant ED attendance fee (depending on the day and time of their attendance) along with a critical care charge (£340) for the care and treatment provided to them by the ED team. The ED team will assess if a patient needs to use the hyperbaric chamber in respect of their treatment, and if it is required, ED will charge an additional £200 per hour for each hour of hyperbaric chamber treatment provided, which reflects the specific costs of operating this dedicated facility for the patient.
The changes to fee structure through this HSC policy decision will reduce costs incurred by users of the chamber for their care from £30k to as low as £595 per episode (for a person presenting at ED during the week, in the daytime and who needs an hour in the hyperbaric chamber).
Heidi Soulsby, HSC President said: "My Committee and I are pleased to be able to introduce a revised fee structure for the hyperbaric chamber based on our ability to purchase, rather than continue to rent the facility. Although we expect our new chamber will be installed and operational at the end of the year, we have listened to the diving and insurance communities and acted pragmatically to introduce the revised fees effective from the 1st of June this year. We hope therefore that the commercial and leisure diving sectors will immediately feel the benefit of the change. We are also delighted to be able to support Jersey patients who require decompression treatment through our chamber in light of the recent news that their own facility is no longer operational as part of our commitment to work with Jersey to provide effective services".
HSC has been in contact with representatives of the local diving community who are delighted that the fees charged have been so considerably reduced through the purchase of this equipment.
The capital value for the purchase of the new chamber which has been sourced through competitive global tender is circa £340k.