Availability of Inogen one G4 on the NHS - British Lung Foun...

British Lung Foundation

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Availability of Inogen one G4 on the NHS


Has anyone been prescribed a Inogen G4 on the NHS? I am told that Air Rapide in my area does not stock it as they do not see an adequate demand for it. I was given a Inogen G3 which is much too heavy for me to carry around. I have been very ill for about 9 months and now i want to try to get back on my feet only to find i am stranded indoors upstairs because the oxygen supplier does not think it necessary to stock the equipment that meets my needs. Surely equipment should be sourced by these suppliers based on patient's assessed needs and not on their perception of what is needed or cost. Respiratory conditions are stressful enough without having to expend additional energy on fighting clinicians and business personnel to get the care we need.

14 Replies

It depends on what liters you are on

I'm sorry to hear you are struggling at the moment. How many litres of oxygen are you on? The Inogen G3 you've been given will go up to 5 litres, but the Inogen G4 only goes up to 3 litres. Perhaps this is why you've been given the heavier machine.

If you need up to 5 litres perhaps you could use a trolley to carry the G3 around. It's not as convenient as being able to wear it like a shoulder bag, but would at least enable you to go out when you want to.

If you only need up to 3 litres of oxygen I can understand how frustrating this is as the G3 seems to weigh twice as much as the G4. It's your respiratory nurse or consultant who prescribe your oxygen, so have a word with them about which machine is most useful for you. They should be keen to see you getting out and getting some exercise.

You could also call the BLF Helpline (03000 030 555) for advice. They might be able to suggest what you could say to your respiratory team to persuade them to change you to the lighter machine if it is appropriate for you.

meg167 in reply to annienell

Thank for your reply. I'm on 2L so the G4 is suitable. The G3 is a very good POC but it really is too heavy for me to get up and down stairs and even move about on one level. It seems the clinicians can only prescrobed what the o2 supplier stocks. I just think equipment availabilty should be in line with patient need. My clinicians are willing to make a special case to the CCG so I will see what happens

Hi 🙋‍♀️ meg167, and I'm sorry you are having difficulties with your oxygen suppliers.

Did you mean Air Liquide covers your area? If so that's the company I rely on and I can only speak for the 6years (approx) we've known each other but they've been bery accommodating. I would relay all you've said, to your Respiratory Nurse who controls what and how much you need etc. I'm certain that she/he would be alarmed at you being stuck upstairs and unhappy with your portable Inogen machine .Every air provider can put the air tubes around the rooms so you can access easily. You may well need one machine upstairs and one downstairs. Air Liquide are terrific from my experiences, so phone them and explain about the Inogen situation too. Apologies for the long, waffling reply, lol 😁. Good luck. 🐿💕

meg167 in reply to SquirrelsHolt

Thank you. It appears Air Liquids do not think there is adequate demand for the G4 so don't stock it. The good news is that my respiratory team is willing to approach the CCG and make a special case. I'm not sure how this works but I'm hopeful.

The type of portable concentrator you are provided with is dependant on the contract your local clinical commissioning group have with the equipment supplier.the same supplier can deliver different concentrators to people living in virtually adjacent counties or cities as i found when Air liquide my provider were allowed to supply the inogen one g3 to patients in Derbyshire but not in Greater Manchester where i live so it is a bit of a post code lottery and there's not much your respiratory nurse can do about it.

meg167 in reply to skischool

This shouldn't be the case! Your treatment should be based on need and evidence and not where you live

skischool in reply to meg167

i agree but different trusts make the decision of how much they want to fund something and the wealthier ones will obviously have more scope.good luck with your respiratory nurse making a case and i hope she succeeds on your behalf,do let us know the outcome, being small myself i know how awkward concentrators are to carry. :)

Hi skis, yes I’m in the Wirral and I got the humongous G2 as well, it has broke down twice in a year and they don’t fix them, they just replace them, it will be interesting to see what they replace them with now, because the G2 is no longer made.

I also have my own self bought G3, which I bought in preparation for going to Gran Canaria in March, I find the G3 a doddle to carry compared to the G2, I still use the G2 for exercising and around the house, but I find the G3 a lot easier for walking out and about, if was using the G2 outside for any distance I would have to use the trolley, but the pavement around here is too uneven, I would also forever be bending over to adjust my flow rate as well, I use it between 2 and 5 litres per minute ambulatory, whereas the G3 is easy to carry and adjust the flow rate.

skischool in reply to Ian1967

Yes i purchased the G3 well before they even prescribed me supplementary oxygen as i knew i needed it,i also purchased the back pack at great expense but found that it then required you to take the pack off to switch it on and off or adjust settings so unless you knew you were going to use up a battery in one session not very convenient.like you i use the g2 provided either in the house or on hospital visits which require long corridor walks when the trolley become more handy than a hindrance. :)

meg167 in reply to Ian1967

I guess the ability to carry the G3is dependent on the individual. Assessment of need should be individualized. We are all different!

Ian1967 in reply to meg167

Hi meg, yes I agree we’re all different physically, but compared to the G2 the G3 is a lot easier to carry, the G4 looks good, but the flow rate is too low for me and the battery life, even with the bigger battery, is much too short!

I have the G3 and yes it is heavy, but a trolley is better than staying indoors! I have just purchased a backpack for myself to see if it’s easier to carry, but I need to adjust it so it’s more suitable. I do hope you get the help you need to get out again, as being couped up at home is depressing to say the least? Xxxx

meg167 in reply to Dietrech

Thank you for you kind consideration. It is depressing being stuck upstairs indoors Some good news is that my respiratory team is going try to get the G4 by make a case to the CCG. I have tried with the G3 but I'm quite petite and need to go up and down stairs so the weight is an issue

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