The Oban Hyperbaric Chamber for treating decompression illness on the west coast of Scotland is to close.

In a statement the facility operator, Tritonia, said this follows a decision to withdraw NHS funding with immediate effect. 

The closure of the chamber means that there is currently no NHS registered treatment facility capable of treating decompression illness on the whole of the west coast of Scotland.   

Divers requiring treatment will now be transferred to Aberdeen. 

Since 1972, the recompression chamber at Dunstaffnage, near Oban, has treated over 400 divers for decompression illness ("the bends"), and is the only NHS registered chamber on the entire west coast of Scotland. As of April 1st 2024, NHS Grampian have withdrawn funding and support of this vital infrastructure. This facility provides vital support for all diving operations on the west coast of Scotland and the islands. Currently this service is ‘suspended’. 

If you’d like to support the petition to try and reverse the decision to close the Oban Chamber please visit

Martin Sayer, Managing Director of Tritonia said:

We are concerned that this change in how the service is being delivered will cause unnecessary delays to treatment, especially when there is still a perfectly adequate facility in Oban.  We are, therefore, challenging the decision.

As well as the recompression facility the Oban chamber also supports an experienced team of five doctors qualified in diving and hyperbaric medicine. Members of that team were on call for Oban Accident and Emergency around the clock to examine divers and co-ordinate their treatment. That resource will also be lost with this funding decision.

Mary Tetley, BSAC CEO said:

This is disappointing news about an important facility that safeguards the wellbeing of divers in the western Scotland area. We will continue to work with Tritonia regarding the appeal process, and will advise our members how best to support them going forward.

With no NHS support now existing for diving-related emergencies on the west coast, advice and guidance can now only be obtained by contacting the Coastguard (999, channel 16) or the Scottish National Helpline number 0345 408 6008.

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