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The form has been developed to improve prescribing practices for the estimated 10,000 patients who are currently on home oxygen throughout Ireland.
“The need for one national form was identified in the Irish Guidelines on Long Term Oxygen Therapy (LTOT), launched in 2015, as currently there are many variations in circulation. The new form will benefit prescribers, suppliers and most importantly patients. It will cover both medical and non-medical card holders and facilitates generic prescribing,” said Ms Patricia Davis, Respiratory Clinical Nurse Specialist, Integrated Care, and lead author of the form.
The new form has been welcomed by a number of charities and patient support groups representing home oxygen users, including COPD Support Ireland, Cystic Fibrosis Ireland and the Irish Lung Fibrosis Association.
It has also been welcomed by the HSE’s National Clinical Programme for COPD.
“The National COPD Programme is happy to endorse the HOOF. Given the Programme’s commitment to ensure excellent and equitable access to healthcare for patients with COPD, the HOOF will provide a means to ensure patients with COPD who require access to oxygen will get efficient and timely access to this vital medication,” said Prof Tim McDonnell, National Clinical Lead for the COPD Programme.
In tandem with the launch and roll-out of HOOF, there will be a phasing-out of all previous forms and following 31 October, no other form will be accepted by the HSE or oxygen suppliers. A printable version of the form will be available from suppliers until the electronic version is fully set up in each area.
The form is available through the HSE and Irish Thoracic Society website, which also includes an educational slide show to support the roll-out and completion of the form. See www.irishthoracicsociety.com.