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Government calls for more ventilators to be manufactured

17 March 2020

Due to the shortage of equipment needed to treat some coronavirus patients, the government has asked if UK manufacturers can support in the supply of ventilators and ventilator components.

(Image: Shutterstock)

According to the BBC, carmakers and JCB are among the manufacturers being contacted and engineers are being asked to quickly draw up plans. 

As well as manufacturers, the Government are looking for businesses with the following skills:

• design/specification
• rapid prototyping
• contract/product assembly
• certification/regulation/testing
• logistics
• medical training

Dr Helen Meese, Vice-Chair of the Biomedical Division of the Institution of Mechanical Engineers said:

“Ventilation equipment, like all medical devices, is very strictly regulated to ensure patient safety. We must be clear, that while many engineering companies and individuals have come forward to support this initiative, it will take several weeks if not months to ensure the right processes are in place to increase the production of these precision parts.

“The quickest way for the UK to do this is for existing specialist manufacturers to share their drawings, specifications and expertise with non-medical manufacturers so they can make the parts to the right quality standards.

“While manufacturing can be ramped up, we must also remember that engineering will play an important role once these parts arrive at the NHS. Clinical engineers will be needed to oversee the process of installing these parts on the wards and even building some of the hand-held ventilators for use by clinical staff.

“The NHS should look at placing senior clinical engineers in charge of coordinating the supply chain between device manufacturers and hospitals to ensure consistency and best practice is maintained. The Institution of Mechanical Engineers’ Biomedical Engineering Division represents over 3000 engineers from across the healthcare engineering sector, many of whom have the expertise to assist in this process. It is in times of such crisis that engineers consistently play a leading role in ensuring the health and safety of our society.”

If your business can help with the Prime Minister’s call for ventilator production, please visit https://ventilator.herokuapp.com to register your details.


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