Supporting the NHS – Salamanca Group secures 164 ventilators


The UK, currently in the grip of Covid-19, is experiencing a massive strain upon our health service. The NHS needs more ventilators to cope with the expected caseload. To help the government supply the NHS with this equipment, the private sector must play its part where it can in lending a helping hand.

The NHS needs to increase its stock of ventilators from 10,000 to at least 18,000 to deal with the expected peak of Covid-19 in Britain. Every little bit of help and assistance will be crucial in ensuring our doctors and nurses have the resources they need to best take care of us during this crisis.

While major manufacturers like Dyson are developing their own ventilators, which are yet to be signed off,  the NHS can boost its ventilator capacity quickly towards that 18,000 target by being aided in acquiring existing and viable machines now.

To support our health service, we decided to search for ventilators in China as the country is the first emerging from the pandemic, and therefore domestic demand for ventilators is not at the peak it is elsewhere around the globe.

Salamanca Group leveraged its decades of experience of operating in China to swiftly source ventilators and ease the procurement process to help the UK and the NHS be the best prepared they can be to tackle this unprecedented crisis. In a short space of time after starting our search for ventilators, we managed to procure 164 ventilators split between T100 and S110 varieties from Chinese companies.

Our experience of having previously worked in acquiring medical supplies also helped ensure the NHS was able to work with these new suppliers now, when the need may be at its most critical, rather than months down the line.

Typically, it can take a year for a new supplier to be accepted by the NHS due to due diligence. Our advice and aid helped slash this process to four days.

Furthermore, the demand for ventilators worldwide has seen prices jump by as much as 30pc a day. Again by leveraging our experience, we managed to find a buyer selling the items at a fair price given today’s market.

For context, ventilators typically sell for $12,000 each; today some firms are pricing them at $80,000.

On April 10th, the first 30 ventilators delivered and the remaining 134 will arrive this week.

The government and its associated departments are working flat out to try to see this country through this pandemic, including putting massive resources into procuring medical supplies.

But, the private sector must play an active role in supporting these efforts. All we have to do is lend our expertise and time.

Being able to advise on commercial terms, source suppliers and fast track onboarding processes are among the things the private sector is well-positioned to add to the government’s efforts to defeat the virus.

In this crisis, we all have a part to play and Salamanca Group is proud to be playing its own small role. We are now working on sourcing PPE equipment.