Page last updated at 08:57 GMT, Wednesday, 10 June 2009 09:57 UK

Support urged for hyperbaric site

Hyperbaric facility
The hyperbaric facility is used by about 200 people a year

The Isle of Man's hyberbaric facility will need more charitable donations if it is to continue to operate, the Health Minister Eddie Teare has said.

Millionaire Trevor Hemmings, who lives on the island, presented the chamber with cheques for £20,000 to help cover its budget shortfall.

It followed a campaign by supporters of the facility, which is funded by the government and charitable donations.

Mr Teare said more people needed to back the Douglas facility with cash.

The chamber, on Peel Road, faced an uncertain future after the Department of Health and Social Security (DHSS) said it could not afford to meet the full running costs.

'Very pleased'

The DHSS provides £90,000 in funding a year, but the facility needs a further £30,000 to operate.

Mr Hemmings persuaded the pools firm Sportech Plc to donate £5,000 and his TJH Foundation donated a further £15,000.

"We're very pleased it has happened. There certainly has been a head of steam building up... but that head of steam has been verbal," said Mr Teare.

"It would be nice if people were able to, or were prepared, to follow the example that has been set now and actually put their hands in their pockets and demonstrate their tangible support for the hyperbaric chamber and also other charities."

The facility, which is used by about 200 people every year, has been traditionally used to treat divers for decompression sickness.

But it is mainly used for the treatment of acute and chronic medical conditions which can benefit from increased levels of oxygen in the blood.

It works by delivering 100% oxygen to a patient inside a chamber at a pressure greater than sea level.

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