Manufacturing and COVID-19: How you or your organisation could help
NOTE: For organisations that would like to help Cambridge NHS specifically, visit our Cambridge NHS support page.
- Register with UK Government to offer coronavirus (COVID-19) support from your business: Use this website to tell the UK Government how your business might be able to help with the response to coronavirus.The support needed includes: medical testing equipment; medical equipment design; protective equipment for healthcare workers, such as masks, gowns and sanitiser; hotel rooms; transport and logistics, for moving goods or people; manufacturing equipment; warehouse or office space, for medical use or storage; expertise or support on IT, manufacturing, construction, project management, procurement, engineering or communications.
- Register with NHS Supply Chain: The NHS have a team looking at all offers and directing them to right people in both NHS Supply Chain and wider government organisations. If you are a supplier click here. If you would like to offer logistics services or other types of support click here. NOTE: In this exceptional situation, MHRA may authorise you to supply a non-CE marked device in the interest of the protection of health but you must read the exemptions process for fast-track approval of medical devices during COVID-19 outbreak.
- PPE Exchange: Free to join and free to use, PPE Exchange has been established with the sole aim of bringing together users and suppliers of personal protection equipment (PPE) to allow as much as possible of this urgently needed equipment to get to the front line to safeguard carers and service users.
- Respond to UK Government's urgent request for COVID-19 antigen testing kits: The requirement is for commercial supply of the following: Full testing packages; any of the separate components within the testing package; any alternative tests the government should be considering.
- The Henry Royce Institute has set up a database to compile design and manufacturing capabilities across the UK on behalf on the NHS. They are asking for responses from companies in two categories:
- those that have design and/or manufacture facilities or resources in the UK that they wish to make available to the NHS.
- those requiring access to design and/or manufacturing facilities to produce parts for critical equipment for the NHS.
The availability of ventilators and CPAP equipment specifically is a key concern for healthcare systems in responding to COVID-19. Below are some links relating to ventilator and CPAP design and production:
- MHRA specification for ‘minimally acceptable’ ventilator designs: specification of the minimally (and some preferred options) clinically acceptable ventilator to be used in UK hospitals during the current COVID-19 pandemic caused by SARS-CoV-2 virus. It sets out the clinical requirements based on the consensus of what is ‘minimally acceptable’ performance in the opinion of the anaesthesia and intensive care medicine professionals and medical device regulators. It is for devices, which are most likely to confer therapeutic benefit on a patient suffering with ARDS caused by SARS-CoV-2, used in the initial care of patients requiring urgent ventilation. A ventilator with lower specifications than this is likely to provide no clinical benefit and might lead to increased harm, which would be unacceptable for clinicians.
- Specification for Rapidly Manufactured CPAP System to be used during the coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak: This is a specification of the minimally clinically acceptable Continuous Positive Airway Pressure (CPAP) system to be used in UK hospitals.
- Open Source Ventilator: A website for engineers, designers, medical professionals, and communities to generate and validate ideas for open source designs of ventilators that can be produced at scale and made available for use by clinical staff to save lives and aid the recovery of COVID19 patients.
Calls for individual expertise
- Register with the COVID-19 Outbreak Expert Database: To speed up the process of Parliament accessing relevant research expertise, the Knowledge Exchange Unit of the UK Parliament are creating a COVID-19 Outbreak Expert Database. If you have any expertise relating to COVID-19 or its impacts, and if you would be prepared to provide expert insights to Parliament, complete this form.
- Respond to the Royal Academy of Engineering call for expertise: The Royal Academy of Engineering wants to draw on the expertise and capability among its Fellows, awardees and partners to support both the response to COVID-19. If you are in a position to contribute, please get in touch via their online form.
- Join Rapid Review Network for Royal Society Open Science: Royal Society Open Science journal is issuing a special call for Registered Report (RR) submissions that are relevant to COVID-19 in any field, including but not limited to biological, medical, economic, and psychological research. The journal is seeking reviewers in all fields to help with this extraordinary effort by agreeing to review manuscripts within 24 to 48 hours after accepting a review request. If you are willing to review a Stage 1 RR in your field of expertise within 24-48 hours of accepting a review request, please complete this online form.
- Register as a volunteer at Helpful Engineering: Designing, sourcing and executing projects to help people suffering from the COVID-19 crisis worldwide. They are an open community of volunteers without a commercial purpose. They believe that through a utilitarian approach, they can do the most good in the quickest time. Applying unused engineering and manufacturing resources, they can help the world cope with the threat of COVID-19.
Support for manufacturers
- Share and read advice via the themanufacturer.com Coronavirus 2020 Community: The Manufacturer has an online community dedicated to sharing manufacturing-related advice to address COVID-19 challenges.
- Use and contribute to the Coronavirus Tech Handbook: a crowdsourced resource for technologists that curates things related to the coronavirus outbreak.
- Support Engineers for Doctors: Engineers for Doctors is gathering resources and building open-source tools and equipment to help Doctors survive and tackle coronavirus. Initial focus = PPE mask shortage.
- Donate your unused computational resources to the Folding@home Consortium: You can donate your unused computational resources to the Folding@home Consortium, where researchers working to advance our understanding of the structures of potential drug targets for 2019-nCoV that could aid in the design of new therapies.
If you have any suggestions for other resources/activities/projects that could be added to this list, please email them to email@example.com.
University of Cambridge response:
Researchers across the University are responding to the COVID-19 pandemic, find out how other departments are providing support. If you are a member of staff or a student, read the University of Cambridge COVID-19 guidance.
Here at the IfM, we are doing our best to support the manufacturing community and the UK government response during this period of uncertainty.
- We have offered access, both nationally and locally, to the IfM’s expertise in mapping of supply chains, support for operational improvements, and repurposing of existing manufacturing supply chains.
- You can read the report by IfM's Policy Links Unit completed for the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS) which reviews international policy responses aimed at mitigating the potential impacts of COVID-19 on manufacturing. The team also wrote a blog for UNIDO following the report looking at the manufacturing repurposing challenge.
- Staff at the IfM recently featured on regional news, highlighting the work they are doing to coordinate PPE equipment donations from across departments at the University.
- IfM researchers are working to help Addenbrooke’s Hospital model patient flow, examine the hospital's oxygen supply, and better understand staffing challenges.
- A working paper explores one of the potential barriers to collaboration during COVID-19, the issue of intellectual property, and examines potential ways to avoid such problems.
- Professor Tim Minshall also recently wrote an article reflecting on the challenges in matching the offers of support from the manufacturing community to respond to the COVID-19 crisis with the dynamic and uncertain needs of the healthcare system.