Joint Research Office


HSJ Awards nomination for team behind life-saving breathing aid

20 November 2020

The team at UCLH, UCL and Mercedes HPP that developed a life-saving breathing device at the height of the pandemic has been shortlisted for the 2020 HSJ Award for Acute Innovation of the Year.

The UCL Ventura CPAP (continuous positive airway pressure) device – developed with the crucial involvement and leadership of UCLH critical care consultants Prof Mervyn Singer and Dr David Brealey – helps coronavirus patients breathe more easily and keep them out of intensive care. Clinical data from UCLH shows that half of patients treated with CPAP do not progress to ventilation, making this device a lifesaver.

It took less than 100 hours from the first discussions in March to the first prototype being designed, manufactured and tested. The devices are now being used in over 130 NHS hospitals and the designs are freely available for international use.

The team is already a winner of the Royal Academy of Engineering President’s Special Award for Pandemic Services.

The HSJ Awards – now in their 40th year – is the largest annual benchmarking and recognition programme for healthcare. They produce a roll call of the best organisations, teams and people in the NHS and the wider health sector.

Winners will be selected ahead of the ceremony, which will take place virtually in March 2021.