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Vaughan Gething AM, Minister for Health and Social Services

First published:
29 April 2020
Last updated:

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I issued a written statement on 5 April 2020 providing members with information on critical care capacity and ventilation.

In the statement, I set out the number of ventilators currently within NHS Wales and the plans to procure additional ventilators. This included the procurement of an additional 1,035 units both by NHS Wales Shared Services and through UK arrangements.

From the 385 invasive ventilators which we expected to receive via UK arrangements at the time of the statement, which was subsequently revised to 461, we have received 46.

Of the 270 dual purpose (invasive or non-invasive machines) procured by NHS Wales Shared Services, 130 have so far been received and distributed to health boards.

Of the 380 non-invasive ventilators which we expected to receive via UK arrangements at the time of the statement, which was subsequently revised to 369, we have received 177.

The delivery of the ventilators procured through both the NHS Wales Shared Services and UK arrangements has always been on a phased basis over a 13 week period, based on the original projection of a peak occurring in June/July.

There has always been sufficient ventilator capacity within NHS Wales throughout the COVID-19 period of activity.

Within Wales, the number of invasively ventilated or critical care beds currently stands at 386. Occupancy levels of this expanded number of beds is at 43%, however it is important to recognise that the number of invasively ventilated beds currently being utilised is significantly above normal critical care bed numbers in Wales.

I want to express my thanks, not only to all of our NHS staff who normally work within critical care but also to those people who have redeployed to work in critical care settings. The tireless work and compassion of our staff over recent weeks has demonstrated many examples of our NHS at its very best.

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