Coronavirus: Intensive Care

Department of Health and Social Care written question – answered on 20th April 2020.

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Photo of Lord Alton of Liverpool Lord Alton of Liverpool Crossbench

To ask Her Majesty's Government, further to the Written Answer by Lord Bethell on 16 March (HL2026), whether they will now answer the question put, namely, whether the current provision of specialised ventilation care will be capable of meeting the needs of those affected by an epidemic.

Photo of Lord Bethell Lord Bethell The Parliamentary Under-Secretary for Health and Social Care

We have significantly increased our ventilator capacity. To date, there are more than 8,000 ventilators in hospitals across the United Kingdom, with thousands more expected to come into use in the coming weeks and months and, of course, we will continue to order more. This is alongside work being done on the Prime Minister’s ventilator challenge.

Ventilators are being procured from existing worldwide stocks. Ventilators will be delivered to National Health Service trusts as soon as stock has arrived in the UK. In addition, ventilators will be available in the private hospitals that we have just contracted as additional capacity.

It is not yet clear precisely how quickly the number of cases requiring ventilation will increase, hence the efforts to increase capacity rapidly. Ventilator demand modelling continues to evolve and at present sufficient capacity exists. The supply and demand of ventilators is under constant review.

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