One Cambridge technology consultancy has failed to make the cut and three others are sweating on Government decisions in the coming week on which projects will continue to be supported under the Ventilator Challenge launched to counter COVID-19.
Cabinet chiefs Michael Gove and Matt Hancock, the Health Secretary, have unveiled which ventilator design projects are being backed, which still have a chance of continued support and which have been ruled out.
The Cabinet Office has ceased support for EVA, made by Team Consulting and Cogent Technology, along with three other designs from elsewhere in the UK.
Veloci-Vent, made by Cambridge Consultants Ltd and MetLase, the Sagentia Ventilator made by Sagentia and CoVent, made by TTP and Dyson, are among five projects which will continue to be eligible for support but only until being reassessed by a further clinical panel in the week ahead.
As things stand 11 devices are receiving support as part of the drive to increase ventilator supply and protect the NHS.
Following the recommendations of the expert panel, the Government will continue to provide support to four devices, as well the Penlon and paraPAC. It is scaling up production of existing Breas Medical devices, the Nippy 4+ & Vivo65, with the first units expected next month. In addition, two devices are subject to ongoing review to ensure that they continue to meet the needs of the NHS – Zephyr Plus, made by Babcock and Gemini, made by OES Medical.
The Government says its efforts to increase ventilator capacity have already seen an additional 2,400 mechanical ventilators made available to the NHS since the start of the pandemic with over 250 coming from the Ventilator Challenge so far. The number of extra ventilators rises to 6,745 in total when you include both mechanical and non-invasive ventilators; it adds that the UK now has 10,900 mechanical invasive ventilators available to the NHS, as well as 4,300 non-invasive devices.
Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster Michael Gove said: “The innovation, teamwork and commitment shown by manufacturers involved in the Ventilator Challenge has been inspirational. Everyone involved are heroes of our national effort and their contribution to protecting our NHS and saving lives will not be forgotten.”
Health Secretary Matt Hancock added: “Since we launched the Ventilator Challenge the ingenuity and innovation shown by so many companies has been truly awe-inspiring and has helped us continue to get ventilators to the frontline and keep capacity ahead of demand.
“Technology and innovation, operating hand-in-hand with the care and dedication of our fantastic health and social care staff, will help us overcome this virus.”
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