Wigan hospital staff refurbish old devices to save lives in India and Pakistan

Dedicated NHS workers caring for coronavirus patients in Wigan are also doing their bit to help people in hospitals in India and Pakistan.
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Staff at Wrightington, Wigan and Leigh Teaching Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust (WWL) have reconditioned and donated 82 CPAP (continuous positive airway pressure) machines.

The machines, which are used to treat sleep apnoea and have been crucial for coronavirus patients, had passed their warranty and were being removed from service.

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But respiratory Consultants Dr Abdul Ashish and Dr Imran Aziz wondered if they could be used elsewhere.

Devices on their way to PakistanDevices on their way to Pakistan
Devices on their way to Pakistan

Medical equipment manager Winstone Gondwe said: “We were all touched and moved by the images in the media and the impact the virus has had on people in India and Pakistan.

“It was an earnest gesture to strangers, people halfway across the world, people we don’t know and will probably never meet, but I think it sums up what it means to work for the NHS.”

The team looked at which machines could be restored and set to work cleaning, decontaminating, changing filters and completing functional checks.

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Dr Ashish said: “If the Covid-19 pandemic has taught us anything, it’s that we have to work together to help each other fight this terrible virus, so for us to be in a position to provide support to other countries is a great privilege.

“When I spoke to Winstone and his team about our options, we only had a short span of time to get the machines restored and sent out, so for them to be tested and validated so quickly is a measure of the dedication within our WWL family.”

Medical director Dr Sanjay Arya said: “Winstone and his colleagues embody the WWL way and they have gone above the call of duty to help provide this life-saving equipment.

“We will be forever grateful for the way we have been able to provide this support to patients suffering from Covid-19 in hospitals in some of the most remote parts of India and Pakistan.”

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Chief executive Silas Nicholls said: “This is such a wonderful example of the feeling of togetherness we have at WWL, amongst our trust and across the world.”

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