Do I need a new HOOF?

Due to frequency of reordering portable O2 cylinders, I asked Air Liquide if they could let me have an extra cylinder (making 3 in total) so that they'd be delivering less often, and I'd have less cause to complain about their delivery failures. The telephone agent said this was not possible, and I would have to get a new HOOF from my doctor. I was surprised at this response as my previous supplier Air Products simply referred the request to a supervisor and agreed straight away that it would benefit both them and myself and granted my request without reference to a new HOOF.

I can't remember the HOOF actually stating how many portables to supply, simply that portable O2 is required. Have the rules changed or is this just another in a long line of porkies from AL?

20 Replies

  • Not sure about this because I am also supplied by Air Products and they have happily left me whatever I requested. I was working until recently and have not changed my order as yet so am still getting 6 cylinders. There is no point really in them refusing as your medics will obviously change your HOOF if requested. Probably some 'jobsworth' decision made at some point in the past. Shame it will hold you up.

    ps I would always report late deliveries to my consultant or respiratory nurse as they can take this up on you behalf and the company would need to look at the possibility of losing the contract if they did not supply as requested. Should keep them on their toes. Good luck.

  • Thanks auntymary, I'll see what others say. I'm sure Gordon will know the answer to this one, he seems to know most things.

    PS You're lucky to have Air Products supplying you, they're a first rate company; wish I could say the same for Air Liquide

  • We also have air products and we havent had any problems, a few weeks ago they suggested a standing order rather than us having to ring an order, when I asked for extra they said fine, no problem.

  • Thanks for your answer amagran. I fear it's just Air Liquide up to their tricks again

  • My oxygen nurse who did a follow up visit recently said that they were now being charged by the Oxygen company for frquency of delivery - so she wanted me to have sufficient cylinders to reduce number visits and cost. This is just after Air Liquide took over our region from Air Products!! An additional income stream for AL if more visits made.

  • from what l have heard others say about a new contract for the oxygen suppliers, It has all changed, So. what used to happen may no longer be"allowed" go lo speak.You are best off speaking to your resp nurses - after all Oxygen is actually a prescription only Medicine.

  • It seems as if different areas get a different service from airliquide, I have been on oxygen since April and was told that if I found that 3 cylinders were not enough and I had a secure place for storage I could change to a large tank and a small refillable one. I rang and requested this and it was changed a few days later, when the large tank needs changing they come two days after I call. I have also had a portable concentrator to go on holiday three times and it comes when requested. I also find the people on the phone are very pleasant and helpful. I am in the south west.

  • Yes the South West service is under a different contract so the provider (Air Liquide in the south west) can make changes to your equipment without checking with your health care professional. So you could count your self lucky in a way - but it will all change for the south west in 2014.

  • How is it going to change and why?

  • The oxygen providers are reviewed/renewed on a regular basis. The SW contract was renewed and awarded to Air Liquide about 3 years ago - but before the changes to the terms and conditions were made last year. So in 2014 the SW provider will be reviewed - Air Liquide may continue or a new provider will be introduced depending on who wins the bidding process. Whoever wins they will have to deliver the service under the new terms and conditions all the other providers work to now.

  • Even with Air Products, things are changing, unfortunately. My A. P. engineer (a sweetheart, if ever there was one!) told me that the billing system has all changed recently -- and of course, A. P. is either still up for sale or has been sold. I just hope it's not sold to Air Liquide!!



  • I have air products and 8 tanks at any one time. This keeps delivery down to between two and three weeks. I was told that the nhs is charged for each delivery, so it makes more sense to have plenty. I am sure 8 is the most I can have although of course this is plenty. I would have a word with your oxygen nurse and ask her to make another hoof to increase how many tanks you have. Two is nothing is it. They would not last me a week and it would be a real pain to have to wait for them to arrive every couple of days. The way I do it is use seven tanks, then as I start tank number 8 I give air products a call and they arrive next morning to change the seven empty one.

  • i have just been given a further 4 cylinders making my total to 8 after my home oxygen nurse visited me following a review i attended.This helps to keep the costs down apparently.

  • I've only got two, I'm with Air Products so will ask about having two more. If I'm out I leave my empty one in the porch and they change it no problem. Didn't know they are changing hope things don't alter because I find them such a good company.

  • My previous supplier was Air Liquide and they always left me what I asked for whether it be or 6. Mind you I only asked for 6 when going on a long journey, I never had any bother with them.

  • Many Thanks to all of you who answered my question. I found out for myself this morning, and like all my dealings with Air Liquide, it wasn't as straightforward as it should have been. I phoned them yesterday to request my portables and the young woman said "Two is it?" to which I replied could you let me have a third and she replies that's fine, I'll put you down for 3. Result, I thought.

    Then this morning the engineer arrives and hands over 3 cylinders and I hand back my 2 empty ones and he says "Where's your other one?". I haven't got another I explain but I was told yesterday I could have a third cylinder. "Oh no you can't he says, she's no right to tell you that, you need a new prescription before your quantity can be increased; and he promptly takes away the third one despite my protestations that his order clearly states he should deliver 3 cylinders. Can't do that he says, I'll be in trouble, So it confirms my long held belief that AL don't know what they're doing and are unfit for purpose, but the bottom line is I do need a new HOOF to increase my portables. This used to be so simple before the Coalition started taking a butchers knife to the health service.

  • Hi

    I have been in touch with Air Liquide to clarify this issue. As you all know there have been changes to the service specification for the new contracts which have come into play at different times across ech of the regions in England and Wales (only the South West remains unchanged until 2014). Under the new contract suppliers are not allowed to agree to any changes to the type or quantity of oxygen equipment that you may have. Health Care professionals now decide what equipment they want suppliers to install and maintain.

    This means that if you ask the customer service team (or technicians) for more cylinders than you currently have empty cylinders to return - your technician is not allowed to leave you with any extra ones. If you think your oxygen needs have changed you should contact your health care professional to ask for their guidance.

    So I don't think Air Liquide can really be blamed - they seem to have acted correctly here.



  • Thanks Mark that's what the technician told me, but why was the phone agent saying something different?

  • Hello warwickstag and Mark - I have had a number of issues with AL and have been liaising with the Strategic Health Authority. Two senior chaps from AL visited me yesterday and I was able to discuss lots of issues, mainly the lack of communication between the helpdesk and the drivers. They are going to be addressing this so hopefully we should see improvements. I do feel that some of the new requirements that have been imposed on them by the NHS (like answer the phone in 30 seconds) seem a bit ridiculous when they should be spending more of their time and resources on ensuring the patient receives what they have requested!

  • Hi Gilliam,

    Your observation about their lack of order tracking is so true. They simply can't tell you when (or even if ) a delivery will be made. When they do turn up there's a good chance something will be missing. I hate this company with a passion.

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