The UK government has chosen medical ventilators it believes can be rapidly produced to equip the NHS with 30,000 machines needed to cope with an upsurge in Covid-19 patients. The Department for Health and Social Care (DHSC) had issued a criteria, based on which, manufacturing giants have been looking at designing a model could be mass-produced. Reports said the government has opted for existing designs and could promote scaling up production massively.
Smiths Group, which already makes one of the designs, said it was in discussions with the government to help make 5,000 ventilators in the next two weeks. Chief executive Andrew Reynolds Smith said, “During this time of national and global crisis, it is our duty to assist in the efforts being made to tackle this devastating pandemic, and I have been inspired by the hard work undertaken by our employees to achieve this aim. We are doing everything possible to substantially increase production of our ventilators at our Luton site and worldwide. Alongside this, we are at the centre of the UK consortium working to set up further sites to materially increase the numbers available to the NHS and to other countries impacted by this crisis.”
Another ventilator designer Oxfordshire-based Penlon had previously warned that asking non-specialist manufacturers to make ventilators could be “unrealistic”.