Leading medical manufacturer Drägerwerk to partner with UK defence contractor Babock to build ventilators for NHS

  • Article by ITV News Security Producer Dan Howells

Leading medical manufacturer Drägerwerk is partnering with UK defence contractor Babock to build ventilators for the NHS, ITV News understands.

Babcock confirmed last week that they were one of over 3,000 firms who had answered the Government's call to help boost the supply of ventilators in the UK.

In a statement they announced they had partnered with a "leading medical equipment company" on a simplified design to allow for a faster manufacturing process.

ITV News can reveal this partner to be German ventilator specialists Drägerwerk, whose reputation in the sector will likely draw more attention to Babcock's initiative.

In an interview in Monday's Financial Times, Chief Executive Stefan Dräger said: “There is probably no one who has more experience when it comes to inventing and producing ventilators than us”.

He added a word of caution about the involvement of firms from outside of the medical sector: "If others are now trying to do this as well, I welcome that. But I am sceptical.”

Babcock is understood to have established a supply chain to manufacture the simplified Drägerwerk design and provided it gets approved by regulators, the government has ordered 10,000.

It is not yet known when the first ventilator will come off the production line, nor more importantly, when the first will be available for use in a hospital.

Both Babcock and Drägerwerk refused to comment.