As you will be aware we made the difficult decision to temporarily suspend the use of Entonox (gas and air) in our maternity service at St Peter’s hospital on 30 March, and we are very sorry if you have been affected by this. We took this action for the safety of our staff who may have had extended exposure to Entonox within our maternity services, due to issues with ventilation (air circulation).
Since then, we have made several immediate changes and after further testing, we are satisfied that the Entonox levels can now be maintained within recommended levels for our staff to work safely. This means we can start using Entonox again from Thursday 20 April.
Since the suspension of Entonox, we have:
- Started using destruction units - which removes the nitrous oxide from the room and breaks it down into normal air
- Replaced mouthpieces with face masks - which when used correctly prevents the nitrous oxide being breathed out into the room
- Provided staff training on the correct use of all the new equipment.
Entonox use will be limited to those rooms which have a destruction unit, face masks and trained staff in place, until more longer term solutions are in place, such as improved ventilation systems within the maternity service. In the meantime, we will be continuing to test regularly to ensure safe levels for staff within the maternity service.
If you have any questions about our maternity service or pain relief options, please speak to your midwife or use our Call a Midwife Surrey Advice Line on 0300 123 5473.
We will continue to work with the Maternity and Neonatal Voice Partnership to hold regular Q&A sessions which will be advertised on our maternity Facebook page (Abbey Birth Centre & ASPH Maternity).