Our A-E (Medical Gases) Service

A number of medical gases are vital for patient care within the healthcare environment. These include:

  • Oxygen, which is the most commonly found medical gas

  • Medical air for respiratory therapy and as the driving gas for nebulised drugs and chemotherapy agents)

  • Surgical air to power a variety of surgical tools and other devices

  • Nitrous oxide is used for anaesthetic and analgesic purposes, being mixed with air, oxygen, and other agents.

  • Helium/oxygen mixture for patients with respiratory or airway obstruction and to relieve symptoms and signs of respiratory distress.

  • Carbon dioxide, in rare cases, is used as a respiratory stimulant.

  • Vacuum pump systems.

 

The relevant HTM 02-01 covers medical gas pipeline systems  which are installed to provide a safe, convenient and cost-effective system for the provision of medical gases to the clinical and nursing staff at the point-of-use. This reduces the problems associated with the use of gas cylinders such as safety, porterage, storage and noise.

HTM 02-01 is divided into two parts. Guidance in this part (Part A) covers piped medical gases, medical and surgical air, and medical vacuum installations: it applies to all medical gas pipeline systems installed in healthcare premises and anaesthetic gas scavenging disposal systems. Specifically, it deals with the issues involved in the design, installation, and validation and verification (testing and commissioning). Part B covers operational management.

We will assess both those responsible for the various tasks covered by both Part A and B, and will also assess documentation and records.

Our annual authorising-engineer audit addresses the key issues relevant

to maintaining compliance with the management systems covered by HTM 02-01. The scope and methodology of the audit are given below:

Documentation review: We will undertake a full offsite (or onsite if necessary) assessment of all your relevant medical gas documentation, procedures and processes. This will include the following:

  • A review of stated roles and responsibilities including executive teams, managers, officers and advisers, and those managing medical gas pipeline system installers and maintainers

  • A review of stated roles and responsibilities including executive teams, managers, officers and advisers, and those managing medical gas pipeline system installers and maintainers

  • A review of documents including risk assessments (and validation of follow up to action plans); documentation control of installation and maintenance companies; records of testing,  training records of local staff and details of inspections by third parties such as CQC. 

  • A record of our findings which will be included within our executive report.

Onsite assessment: We will attend every site covered by the scope of the scheme and assess the following:

  • An assessment of the use of the documents previously reviewed with the relevant Trust medical gas teams. 

  • Undertaking a procedural assessment of document use to ensure an effective audit trail. 

  • Interviews with relevant staff and other third parties to assess their understanding of their responsibilities. 

  • A record of our findings which will be included within our executive report.

Report Preparation: We will prepare a specially formatted "AdashE" report designed for the Trust Executive. This will include all our findings within a single Trust Report  (where multiple sites are involved). The report will include a prioritised action plan.

Presentation of Results: We will arrange an onsite presentation to Trust representatives to formally give our findings together with suggestions. This will also include a question and answer session.

Our annual workshop will be held in one or more parts of the country and will address a number of key and topical issues of interest to those making use of authorising-engineer services.  The workshop will be developed in line with the development of the scheme.

Our post audit service is offered after a CQC or fire and rescue service audit where issues require urgent follow up. Up to two resource days per year are included in the scheme and is based on our offsite attendance which may include liaison with the auditing personnel. If onsite attendance is required, this will be charged for separately.

Our technical support service can be accessed via this website using the members portal. We will aim to respond within 48 hours. If onsite attendance is required, this will be charged for separately.

Our other Medical Gases related services: