DEESIDE'S representative wants local workforce recognised for their life-saving work.

Jack Sargeant MS is calling for workers in Wales who dedicated themselves to the UK Ventilator Challenge at the height of the coronavirus pandemic, building lifesaving equipment for the NHS to be recognised at the year’s St David’s awards.

In a matter of days, Airbus, Siemens and AMRC colleagues rapidly transformed the Welsh Government-owned AMRC Cymru facility in Broughton from a research and development centre into an assembly line to produce medical ventilators on an unprecedented scale.

Staff worked 24/7 to build two assembly lines at the site and a team of 550 works was assembled to enable round the clock ventilator production.

At the height of production, the highly skilled teams were building the equivalent of six month’s normal UK ventilator production in a single day.

The Penlon Prima ESO2 ventilator mechanical breathing machines supply air and oxygen to patients who suffer lung failure as a result of contracting Covid-19 and have no doubt saved countless lives.

A total number of 13,437 ventilators have been delivered to the NHS by the scheme, ensuring our fantastic healthcare professionals have had access to the equipment they needed to save lives throughout the pandemic.

Jack Sargeant MS said: “What these highly skilled workers achieved in such a short space of time is truly remarkable. When the country needed them most they stepped forward, giving their time and expertise over to this essential cause.

“Their dedication has undoubtedly saved many lives and deserves to be recognised; that is why I have nominated them for the St David’s award for Innovation, Science and Technology.”

The team at Airbus played a central role in the VentilatorChallengeUK scheme - a consortium of UK aerospace, motorsport, automotive and medical businesses at the forefront of UK innovation - formed on March 19 in response to the anticipated escalation in COVID19 cases.

Martin Bolton, Head of Wing of Tomorrow and lead on the ventilator assembly programme at AMRC Cymru, said: “We were extremely proud of all our Airbus and Siemens colleagues who worked tirelessly to make AMRC’s contribution to the consortium such a success and we’re honoured to be nominated for this prestigious national award.”

Daz Reynolds, Unite convenor at Airbus Broughton added: “We are proud that our members have played such a huge part in the UK Ventilator Challenge. Jack Sargeant is from industry and understands the how impressive this achievement is. We thank Jack for recognising the importance of our workforce and nominating for the St David’s award.”