CITY-BASED manufacture Gtech has been told by the government to not produce much-needed ventilators less than a week after getting the go-ahead, the company’s chief executive has said.

Nick Grey, chief executive of Gtech, said he had been advised by the government on Thursday (March 27) to not push forward with production of ventilators despite answering a call for help to assist in producing more than 30,000 ventilators in less than two weeks.

A statement from the Gtech chief executive said: “Thank you so much for offering to help Gtech with our medical ventilator. I have been absolutely overwhelmed by everyone’s support and generosity.

“On Friday (March 20), the cabinet and medical group co-ordinating the project gave us the go ahead to prepare for production. However last evening (March 26) they advised that they did not want us to proceed at this time.

“Everyone involved can be proud that we were ready to respond to the nation needs and start production in such a short time.

“We will still complete and publish our design as there has been a lot of interest for it from around the world.

“Thanks again for all your support and Gtech stand ready to go into production with your support should they be asked to do so.”

Gtech, which specialises in making cordless vacuum cleaners and garden power tools, was approached by government officials almost two weeks ago (March 15) and asked if the company could assist in increasing the number of ventilators in the UK.

It was hoped the move could help save the lives of those suffering from the effects of pneumonia caused by the coronavirus as it is feared the NHS currently does not have enough ventilators to cope with a high influx of cases.

Gtech, which is based in Worcester, said the ventilator could be manufactured in a "matter of days."

Showcasing the ventilator to the government and the NHS last week, Mr Grey said: “At first I thought it was a hoax – being asked if I could assist in making up to 30,000 medical ventilators in as little as two weeks.

“When I realised that this was a genuine need I felt compelled to help.

"We designed the ventilator entirely from parts that can readily be made from stock materials or bought off-the-shelf.

"This means that if Government approves and wants Gtech ventilators they can be made by almost any engineering and manufacturing company.

"Gtech could produce around 100 per day within a week or two providing we could find steel fabrication and CNC machining companies to help us make some of the parts."

The Gtech-designed ventilator is driven and controlled entirely from the hospital oxygen supply, meaning there is no need for electricity.