I have been on home oxygen 24/7 for a few weeks now which has helped enormously. For mobility I have portable cylinders. At the flow rate required each cylinder lasts about an hour. So a day out is no longer possible. I have seen on the market portable oxygen concentrators that will cost £3500 or to rent £195 PCM. One particular fantastic machine provides up to 7 hours of oxygen from a single battery charge. It can be charged in the car and can be used on flights.

I ask,surely would it not be cheaper for the health service to provide a portable concentrator rather than the 7/9 cylinders I need each week, together with the man with the van and all the cost that entails over the course of a year?

14 Replies

Liquid oxygen may be a better choice for you as you have a high oxygen lpm rate.I would see your consultant first to discuss whats available to you before parting with your money. Dorothy x

Thank you Dorothy. I'm ok with parting with cash but it is perhaps the principal behind the fact that the portable machines are not readily available on the NHS if in fact they prove to be cheaper than the constant supply of cylinders. As an aside to that my cylinders for the week arrived an hour ago and the driver informs me that he drives each week a145 mile round trip to deliver to me. Crazy, yes?

Hi - portable concentrators ARE available on the NHS - we have a concentrator in the house, Liquid oxygen for ambulatory and a portable concentrator for the car. I expect it is down to husband has PF, it is agreed his is a situation of quality rather than quantity of life, and I argued that as his family all live more than an hour away it was going to be difficult for us to visit them for family get-togethers etc. also to go out for the day is difficult when you only have a few hours LOX and no back-up. So think out your case and chat up the consultant is my advice ! Gill

I agree with you totally Harmonica. I was using up to 5 cylinders a day, which must cost a packet, yet had to buy my own portable concentrator (£3,000). Once the outlay has been made, little is needed but a new battery every now and again. It mut be cheaper to provide these than so many cylinders and I did in fact ask. The answer was no. Still glad I bought my own though.

Cheers aunt Mary. One feels as if you need a difinative answer with facts and figures for comparisons.

Hi my mum is on oxygen and gets portables each week as she is only very slight she has to have the small cylinders but she has a conserver attached to them so out of one cylinder she gets maybe 6-7 hours. i keep promising her that if i come into some money i would buy her a dinky light weight portable so she could get around easier. Best of luck x

Good on you my point exactly. Getting around easier ( and perhaps cheaper) is what it is all about XX

I was discussing the purchase of a portable concentrator with my consultant and he said to wait until later in the year as it was under review whether the NHS would provide them.

Carole x

I would ask if you can have a conserver. I use portable cylinders and one would only last me about 75 minutes. However, a conserver willl stretch that to just over 5 hours. Meaning I can have often trips out. In fact I am now arranging a holiday and will be fine with having a conserver.


As Gidge correctly points out, portable concentrators are now available through your oxygen provider. It is up to the nurse or doctor who assesses you for and prescribes the oxygen. They should discuss with you the different portable options - i.e. the standard cylinders, liquid oxygen or a poratbale concentrator.It's all down to lifestyle and how active you are - not everyone is suited to each of the options etc. As you are new to oxygen it is possible you have been given the portable cylinders to see how you get on - to see how many you use etc etc and then at some stage see if another option is more suitable. But it is the nurse or doctor who decides and then requests the oxygen company to provide - it is not up to the oxygen company. Speak to whoever prescribed your oxygen.

Also it saves you having to fork out £3000 to buy one yourself - portable concentrators are great and a good solution for many people - but equally they are not suited for everyone.



Fantastic info Mark. Thank you I will speak with my GP and consultant Thursday.

My oxygen company offered me a portable concentrator but it was totally unsuitable for me. It looked like a porter's trolley wheels carrying a gladstone bag and I had to push it around. It needed 2 hands to keep it straight too. As I went out in my car that meant lifting it in and out of the car and it was too heavy for me. It also meant I could not use it when going shopping as I could not push both it and the trolley, could not use it when going into a cafe as I could not push it whilst carrying my coffee to the table, etc. Totally useless really. That is when I asked that I be bought one I could easily carry - a Freestyle or similar. I was refused, even though I pointed out it would be cheaper than delivered oxygen cylinders, and so bought my own.

Technology is a wonderful thing. I have my eye on the InogenOne G3. Only weighs 4lb. If only those who prescribe could utilise the technology to benefit those who need it.

Company Pure O2 will rent you one for £195 per month.

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