Essential Medical Equipment for the NHS


Our thoughts are with the families of Ismail Mohamed Abdulwahab, Luca Di Nicola and all those who have lost loved ones due to coronavirus.

  • We thank our fantastic NHS staff, who are on the frontline of our battle against this virus and are working around the clock to keep us safe. 
  • This virus affects everyone – and the most important thing people can do is follow the guidance to stay at home, protect the NHS and save lives.

We are working with British manufacturers to support the production of essential medical equipment for the NHS – with over 8,000 ventilators available to NHS patients and another 8,000 expected to support those patients worse affected.  

  • To date, there are more than 8,000 ventilators available to NHS patients – more than when the outbreak began – and there are another 8,000 expected from existing international manufacturers in the coming weeks with the firstof thousands of new ventilators to be delivered to the NHS next week.
  • As well as increasing capacity for ventilation, we're also increasing the capacity to provide oxygen to affected patients at an earlier stage in the process of the disease, helping to avert the deterioration of their condition. A team led by UCL working with Mercedes Benz will produce 10,000 new CPAP devices to support affected patients.
  • We are buying ventilators from abroad and developing new ones at home, and increasing the capacity to provide oxygen to make sure that we can better support those patients most affected.

We have increased the statutory minimum wage from today to make sure that workers are fairly rewarded – particularly during this time of disruption. 

  • Many people working on the minimum wage are on the front line in our fight against coronavirus, and it is right we continue with our planned increases to the national living wage and national minimum wage today.
  • From today, the statutory rate for over-25s – the national living wage – will go up from £8.21 an hour to £8.72, while the national minimum wage will go up from £7.70 to £8.20 for 21- to 24-year-olds, from £6.15 to £6.45 for 18- to 20-year-olds and from £4.35 to £4.55 for under-18s.
  • We recognise that this will mean extra costs for some businesses, which is why the Chancellor has announced the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme, which offers grants to employers who promise to retain their staff, and is increasing the Employment Allowance from £3,000 to £4,000 this month - giving an immediate reprieve to firms struggling with hikes to the minimum wage and coronavirus.

Today high streets will start benefitting from a £22 billion coronavirus boost – as we put our arms around everyone and provide businesses with the vital cash they need to ensure their survival during this difficult time.

  • High street businesses are at the core of what keeps our economy thriving, which is why we are making thousands of high street firms exempt from business rates from today – saving firms in England £11 billion.
  • Grants of up to £25,000 already being paid into bank accounts of the smallest high street businesses - with 300 businesses having already received money in their accounts. 
  • Today’s suspension of business rates for retailers and our hospitality and leisure industries, with grants for the smallest businesses, will offer much-needed support in these challenging times.

Stay at home

You must stay at home, only leaving for the following very limited purposes:

  • Shopping for basic necessities, as infrequently as possible.
  • One form of exercise a day – for example, a run, walk or cycle – alone or with members of your immediate household.
  • Any medical need, to provide care or to help a vulnerable person.
  • Travelling to and from work, but only where this absolutely cannot be done from home.

Protect the NHS

You must stay at home to protect the NHS:

  • The NHS only has a limited number of doctors, nurses and specialist equipment.
  • We are working around the clock to increase NHS capacity.
  • The more people who get sick, the harder it is for the NHS to cope.
  • We must slow the spread of the disease so that fewer people are sick at any one time.

Save lives

You must stay at home to protect the NHS and save lives. The police will have the powers to enforce the following restrictions: 

  • Dispersing gatherings of more than two people in public, excluding people you live with.
  • Issuing fines to anyone who does not comply with these rules.
  • Closing shops that are not essential, as well as playgrounds and places of worship. 

Full guidance on staying at home can be found at

You can find the most up to date medical advice at

You can volunteer to become an NHS Volunteer Responder at