Government Reply on Ventilators as reports are published of residents of Care Homes being told they are unlikely to be provided with such treatment. Doctors Association UK say 1,095 doctors have reported PPE shortages while r millions of pieces of protective equipment are being shipped overseas from British warehouses as UK companies claim that their offers of help have not been taken up.
The Government published this parliamentary reply on Ventilators today
Lord Bethell, the Department of Health and Social Care, has provided the following answer to your written parliamentary question (HL2674):
Question by Lord Alton Of Liverpool:
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. (HL2674)
Tabled on: 17 March 2020
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.
Date and time of answer: 20 Apr 2020 at 14:28.
But the Government now needs to say whether letters like those circulated by GP surgeries to thousands of residents, including some with adult learning disabilities, in care homes across the East of England, stating that care residents are “unlikely to benefit from mechanical ventilation” and will unlikely be offered the treatment in hospital if admitted with Covid19, have been circulated elsewhere and on what authority and basis such guidance was issued.
And they need to say how they respond to reports from the Doctors Association UK that 1,095 doctors have reported PPE shortages and to reports that millions of pieces of protective equipment are being shipped from British warehouses to Germany, Spain, and Italy, because UK companies claim that their offers of help have not been pursued by the Government.