Race to the Finish Line: F1 Keeping the NHS and its patients alive

April 5, 2020

2 min read

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What's going on here?

With the NHS urgently requiring ventilators for the effective treatment of coronavirus patients, UK-based Formula 1 teams are collectively applying their knowledge, resources and technology to help produce medical equipment.

What does this mean?

At present, the NHS has access to 8,175 ventilators. However, with rates of infection and coronavirus diagnoses consistently rising in the UK, there are clearly not enough available. With the expected demand of 30,000 medical ventilators required, Boris Johnson has urged the industrial industry “to manufacture as many new ventilators as possible, so we can all help the most vulnerable and our NHS”. 

Responding to this issue of supply and demand, Formula 1 has committed to “provide as much help and assistance as we can”. With the UK-based teams working alongside the Government and other organisations, it is hoped that unified efforts to increase the availability of ventilators will aid NHS staff in treating patients across the UK.

What's the big picture effect?

As this public health situation continues to develop, there is widespread evidence of the automobile industry’s contributions in addressing coronavirus. Aside from Formula 1  coordinating with the needs of governments and health authorities, other manufacturers such as Fiat have recently announced they will soon be producing face masks for healthcare workers. Alongside these manufacturing efforts, both owners of Fiat and Ferrari have donated 10m to aid Italy’s efforts in battling coronavirus, demonstrating much-needed unity during this time.

Moreover, where “all the teams have expert design, technology, and production capabilities, and specialise in rapid prototyping and high-value manufacturing,” Formula 1’s commitment to produce ventilators has many prevailing benefits. Such steps do not only contribute towards the expected demand for ventilators, but could also potentially prevent medical professionals from having to make difficult life and death decisions in prioritising which patients get access to a ventilator based upon age, medical history or other factors.

Ultimately, Formula 1 could widely contribute towards the improvement of patient safety, quality of care across the NHS and provide much-needed support to medical professionals during this uncertain time. However, the commitment displayed is only a starting point. Currently awaiting further developments in the actual manufacturing process, we can only hope for visible results soon with the distribution of equipment nationwide.

Report written by Karolina Smolicz

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