NHS Funded Treatment

All diving / recompression chambers in the UK are either:

  • Independent charities
  • Privately owned based in NHS hospital grounds
  • Privately owned based in private hospital grounds
  • Privately owned based outside of hospital grounds altogether

There is no such thing as "an NHS chamber", however the NHS does "fund" treatment for decompression illness if the diver is:

  • A UK citizen
  • A non-UK citizen but with residential rights in the UK

DAN / UK-based dive insurance becomes invalid once the diver has returned to the UK, i.e. it can only be used if the diver is abroad, however a non-NHS entitled diver's insurance will be valid for treatment in the UK.

Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy (HBOT) treatment for non-diving medical problems, e.g. diabetic ulceration or post irradiation tissue damage, is also NHS funded, however:

  • A consultant referral must be made to the chamber doctor
  • The doctor must deem the patient "fit for HBOT" after examination
  • The patient's Primary Care Trust (PCT) must agree to fund treatment

If the PCT refuses to fund treatment then the patient has the option of:

  • Appealing to the Department of Health to overturn the PCT's decision
  • Paying themselves for the treatment
  • Applying to a charity for funding for the treatment, e.g. the Diving Chamber Treatment Trust
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