The government has allayed fears over the number of ventilators available in the NHS to fight COVID-19, after confirming they have secured 7,000 new ventilators by retaining the 7,000 ventilators the NHS already has.
Health Secretary Matt Hancock confirmed that the government’s investment would see 7,000 new ventilators available on the front line, but when pressed indicated that the ventilators are already in the NHS.
He told reporters via Zoom, “Yes, just because these 7,000 devices are already in the NHS doesn’t mean we can’t count them as new ventilators.
“These are ventilators that we are committed to retaining for the duration of the crisis, and therefore they won’t be leaving the NHS, so technically they are new ventilators and we can count them as such.
“I don’t know why you don’t all understand this, it’s just basic maths.”
Patient Simon Williams told us, “It does sound a bit like creative accounting. I mean, if you have 7,000 of something, then get 7,000 new of that thing, you would expect to have 14,000 of that thing, right?
“I just hope this kind of counting doesn’t take off, because I’d really hate for my boss to say my pay rise this year is actually just made up of the wages I’m being allowed to retain.
“I also hope none of the Tories advocating this counting method are currently homeschooling their children in Mathematics. Those poor children.”
Downing Street confirmed later the ventilator numbers, while announcing the country now has two health ministers after Matt Hancock was retained in his role.