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‘Ventilator challenge’ to equip NHS for Covid lost £143m of public money

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£140m that was spent on developing ventilators has been written off by ministers. According to the Observer, the ventilators were never put to use in the NHS in the months after the pandemic began. 

The 'ventilator challenge' was launched to help provide more machines where needed, however problems began early last year when companies complained their expertise was not being used, while others who had no relevant experience of building ventilators, were asked to do so. 

A government spokesperson has said: “Throughout the pandemic, we have done whatever it takes to protect the NHS and save lives. This included launching the ventilator challenge, which saw more than 15,000 new machines delivered to the NHS, meaning every patient who needs a ventilator has been able to access one". 

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Source: The Guardian, 18 July 2021

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