Publish date: 19 March 2021

Breathing aids developed by engineers at UCL, UCLH and Mercedes-AMG High Performance Powertrains won the acute sector innovation of the year category.

The UCL-Ventura breathing aid, a low-flow Continuous Positive Airway Pressure (CPAP) device, was deployed to treat COVID-19 patients across the UK.

CPAP devices were used extensively in China and Italy to help COVID-19 patients breathe more easily, but the devices were in short supply in UK hospitals, so engineers at UCL and Mercedes-AMG HPP worked round-the-clock to reverse engineer a device that could be manufactured rapidly by the thousands. The devices underwent patient evaluations at UCLH and were used around the world during the pandemic.

UCLH’s Find and Treat team was also celebrated in the HSJ Awards for their partnership with the GLA and other London partners. The Find and Treat team provided testing and triage for London’s vulnerable homeless population as well as care for those unwell with COVID.

Marcel Levi, chief executive of UCLH, said: "These two awards are a great illustration of the large number of fantastic initiatives and innovations that took place.

"Well done to everyone involved in these awards - a fantastic achievement".