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Dyson to make thousands of ventilators at Hullavington plant in Wiltshire to help NHS tackle coronavirus

The new 'CoVent' ventilators will be bed-mounted and battery-operated. Credit: Dyson

Dyson has confirmed it is to make thousands of custom-made ventilators at its Wiltshire base to help tackle the effects of coronavirus.

In an email to employees worldwide, Sir James Dyson confirmed he received a call from Boris Johnson earlier this month asking for help.

The initial order from the Government is for 10,000 of the ventilators, which will be designed with the needs of Covid-19 sufferers in mind.

Dyson will be making 5,000 of them to donate to healthcare services globally - with 1,000 of those earmarked for the UK.

Dyson created the new ventilator - The CoVent - with The Technology Partnership (TTP), and says they can be made quickly and at volume at the Hullavington plant.

Dyson will donate 1,000 CoVents to the NHS. Credit: Dyson

It comes after warnings that the widespread suffering of Covid-19 is putting a strain on the NHS's ability to cope.

Severe symptoms leave patients unable to breathe on their own, and there are currently not enough ventilators in hospitals to meet growing demand.

Ventilators are a regulated product in the UK, and Dyson and TTP are working with MHRA and the Government to make sure the design and product are safe for use.

The ventilators are designed to be mounted on to hospital beds and run on batteries, meaning patients can be easily transported.

  • Read Sir James Dyson's full statement below:

Hospitals are the frontline in the war against Covid-19, where heroic doctors, nurses, and care workers are battling to save lives and help people recover from this terrible virus. As with any battle, there are many challenges to overcome, not least the availability of essential equipment which in this case means ventilators. A ventilator supports a patient who is no longer able to maintain their own airways but sadly there is currently a significant shortage, both in the UK and other countries around the world.

Since I received a call from Boris Johnson ten days ago, we have refocused resources at Dyson, and worked with TTP, The Technology Partnership, to design and build an entirely new ventilator, The CoVent. This new device can be manufactured quickly, efficiently and at volume. It is designed to address the specific clinical needs of Covid-19 patients, and it is suited to a variety of clinical settings. The core challenge was how to design and deliver a new, sophisticated medical product in volume and in an extremely short space of time. The race is now on to get it into production.

The Dyson Digital motor sits at the heart of the new device and the motor’s design is optimised to have a very high level of intrinsic safety, making it particularly well-suited for industrial, high volume production. The device is designed to achieve a high quality air supply to ensure its safety and effectiveness, drawing on our air purifier expertise which delivers high-quality filtration in high-volume products.

Ventilators are a regulated product so Dyson and TTP will be working with the MHRA and the Government to ensure that the product and the manufacturing process is approved. We have received an initial order of 10,000 units from the UK Government which we will supply on an open-book basis. We are also looking at ways of making it available internationally.

I am proud of what Dyson engineers and our partners at TTP have achieved. I am eager to see this new device in production and in hospitals as soon as possible. This is clearly a time of grave international crisis, I will therefore donate 5,000 units to the international effort, 1,000 of which will go to the United Kingdom.

– Sir James Dyson

Coronavirus: Everything you need to know