Coronavirus: Consortium including Ford Dagenham producing up to 200 ventilators a day

One of the ventilators produced by the consortium is tested before being sent to the NHS. Picture: S

One of the ventilators produced by the consortium is tested before being sent to the NHS. Picture: Steve Parsons/PA - Credit: PA

Ford Dagenham has helped to produce up to 200 ventilators a day in the fight against coronavirus.

The figure was revealed by the VentilatorChallengeUK consortium to mark two months since it was set up.

The group brings together the medical, aerospace and medical sectors to develop new models to support people suffering from breathing difficulties caused by coronavirus.

Companies including Airbus, Rolls Royce and Ford are involved, as well as seven UK-based Formula 1 teams.

In total, the 33-strong consortium has seen more than 5,500 people working around the clock to create two models of ventilator for the NHS.

One is an existing design made by Smiths Group, with the other a new device based on an adaptation of existing technology from Oxfordshire-based Penlon.

The two firms would ordinarily have combined capacity to produce between 50 and 60 ventilators per week.

Most Read

But with the additional facilities provided by the consortium, between 100 and 200 units per day are being produced as it seeks to increase the number of ventilators available to the NHS.

Work is taking place across nine sites, including factories in Woking, Maidenhead and Broughton in Wales.

Dick Elsy, chairman of VentilatorChallengeUK, said: “We have covered an incredible amount of ground in the two months since the consortium was formed.

“The progress we have made is testament to the effort and energy brought to the challenge by every member of the VentilatorChallengeUK consortium team.

“They have never wavered in their determination to make sure that our NHS always has the number of ventilators it needs to treat this virus.”

He added: “Although the UK is widely accepted to have passed the peak of infections in this first phase of the pandemic, we are continuing to scale up our production capabilities to make sure that there is always a ventilator available when a patient needs it should a second wave strike the UK.

“I look forward to seeing VentilatorChallengeUK deliver even more ventilators over the coming weeks.”