Improving Patient Safety & Care Webinar Series

Ventilator safety: How we can learn from Covid 19 

TBC 2020

13:00 - 14:00 - GMT

Presenters

Helen Hughes

Chief Executive Officer

Patient Safety Learning

Chris Frerk

Consultant Anesthetist

and Trustee of Clinical Human Factors Group

Industry Partner

To be confirmed

On 30 March, in response to the UK Government asking for business to provide thousands of ventilators to help tackle the Covid-19 pandemic. As part of the Government’s fast track approach to the development of ventilators, the Medicines & Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA) issued guidance for clinical requirements based on ‘minimally acceptable’ performance. 

The Government has come under increasing pressure in recent weeks over its handling of this issue. This has been, in part, because it decided not to order ventilators through the EU’s procurement scheme. This has resulted in a more urgent need for scaling up production within the UK. There have also been questions raised around the number of ventilators required. Initial estimates of 30,000 have since been cut down by more than a third to 18,000.

There has been increasing clinical concern about the Government’s decision to move away from standard specification and known manufacturers. Some of these concerns have related to the minimum specification for the ventilator programme set out by the MHRA, suggesting that it will not lead to the production of machines that are suitable for treating Covid-19 patients.

This is not simply a technical issue. If we can’t ensure ventilators are being produced to the right standards, to deliver the right care and to be used safely, then it will inevitably result in errors and could ultimately cost lives.

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