Althea Engineers Commission Thousands of Medical Devices for NHS Nightingale

Althea’s specialist biomedical engineers have played a vital role at Nightingale Hospital London, commissioning thousands of items of lifesaving medical equipment ready for use.


Integrated healthcare technology management company Althea joined the national unprecedented response to COVID-19, playing its part in transforming London’s ExCel exhibition centre into an emergency 4000 bed hospital.

Althea’s onsite engineers worked tirelessly, unpacking, building, setting up, testing and servicing over a thousand medical devices. The result was that in just nine days, ExCel had become NHS Nightingale Hospital London, the first of several planned across the country.

On Monday 30th March, Althea’s engineers started on site with some of the team staying away from family so they could help on this project, with others travelling many hours each day to help.

The company, which is proud to be offering vital support during the global pandemic, say all of their engineers volunteered for the role after Althea were awarded the contract to be the dedicated onsite biomed managed equipment support.  This includes a complete biomed service from setting up the bed spaces with all the equipment, which has all been commissioned by Althea. Althea will be onsite to offer full management support of all medical devices as clinicians care for patients during the global pandemic.

Company comments

“The response from our engineers’ during this unprecedented time as been incredible and we are so very proud of everyone involved,” said David Rolfe, UK&I Chief Executive Officer at Althea.

“The team have been really responsive to a fast-moving situation, and everyone has worked well beyond their contracted hours, spending time away from their families to help make sure the hospital is ready and functional.”

Althea has the largest constituency of biomed engineers on site at the Nightingale Hospital London providing support. The company is also currently engaging with other Nightingale hospital sites to see what help, advice and support Althea can offer the other sites across the UK.

Refurbishing old equipment

In a separate call out for assistance Althea is urging UK hospitals who have disused ventilation equipment to contact them immediately.

Althea is looking for all ventilators, but primarily the following would be ideal with the current situation: ICU Ventilators, BIPAP Machines, Transport Ventilators, CPAP Machines and NIV Ventilators. 

The company has the capabilities to refurbish the much-needed lifesaving equipment and get it back into NHS circulation so it can be used operationally.

Government Ministers have been trying to boost the number of ventilators to increase the stock of just over 8,000 already available to the NHS. It is estimated as many as 20,000 extra ventilators could be required to treat infected patients as more people are hospitalised due to the COVID-19 coronavirus.

David Rolfe said:  “There is a country-wide worry that there may not be enough ventilators to sustain critical patients who need breathing assistance which is why we are appealing to Trusts in the country to contact us immediately if they have broken or disused equipment. We will review every response that we receive to see if we could make it work for the current situation.”

“Althea will arrange for it to be collected and our specialised team will start work to get the systems back into operation so they can save lives. By working together, we can ensure there are more ventilators in hospitals and more people will gain access to these equipment as they are treated for COVID-19.”

Althea’s refurbishment project will support the Government’s Ventilator Challenge UK consortium, which has been set up to scale up production of much-needed ventilators.

Any Trust with broken or disused equipment can call Abbie Thompson on 07966 414 002 or email

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