The Ventilator Challenge UK
Smiths was a lead player in the VentialtorChallengeUK consortium, with our paraPAC plus™ ventilator one of two existing device manufacturers selected for a ramp-up of production to meet by the requirements of the UK Government and the National Health Service (NHS). The paraPAC plus™ was chosen due to our proven design, MRHA approval and that clinicians and medics in the U.K. were familiar with the device. The ventilator is a mechanical, mobile device originally designed by Smiths in 2008. It has been used to help save lives by ambulances and hospitals in the Uk and overseas for more than a decade.
This was a three-month initiative to ensure the NHS received the ventilators they needed to help save lives during the pandemic and also contributed to building a resilient stock should more be required in the future. Across the consortium a total of 13,437 ventilators were delivered to the NHS in just twelve weeks, an incredible feat.
Smiths oversaw the overall programme management and workstream integration for the production of the paraPAC plusTM ventilator. Major work was undertaken to improve process productivity which contributed to increased outputs. The number of staff at the Smiths Medical site in Luton site tripled, working hours increased by c.200% and the site scaled up production capacity from 20 to 30 ventilators a week to hundreds a week.
There was also support from both our Smiths Detection and Smiths Interconnect divisions, and the local community with dedicated engineers from the nearby Vauxhall car factory lending their expertise. The team also provided engineering and supply chain support and expertise to our consortium partners: GKN at their Cowes and Luton sites and Rolls Royce's Bristol site.
The team at Smiths Medical Luton, and all those supporting them from inside and outside Smiths, truly exemplified our Smiths Way values from their passion for the cause, to their determination to overcome challenges and the care and kindness shown to one another during this difficult period.
Smiths is very proud of everyone involved, who have enabled us to manufacture so many devices for the NHS and beyond, which have saved lives during the pandemic and will continue to help people in the future.
Hear from some of our amazing frontline workers who manufactured the paraPAC plusTM ventilator and find out why they’re #ProudtobeSmiths
We had a celebration cake made for the Luton site to mark the end of the VentilatorChallengeUK