“THERE'S a wartime spirit here” - that’s the message from the boss of the UK's biggest respiratory device supplier during desperate times due to coronavirus.

Intersurgical is a Wokingham-based global medical supplies company caught up in the ‘craziness’ of the pandemic as the NHS desperately needs more ventilators.

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The firm, based at Crane House on Molly Millars Lane, produces breathing and respiratory equipment from its Wokingham headquarters.

There is a demand for around 20,000 more ventilators in the UK, according to reports, which are machines designed to help patients with respiratory problems to breathe easier.

Bracknell News:

Shortness of breath is a symptom shown by those diagnosed with coronavirus.

Charles Bellm, Intersurgical’s managing director, told the News the company does not make ventilators but makes the equipment that connects to ventilators.

Speaking about Intersurgical’s response in the past few days and weeks, he said: “It’s been bloody busy.

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“It’s gone crazy. We are part of a solution to this.

“We’re the only UK manufacturer of these kinds of products. We just have to keep going.”

Reacting to the pandemic has meant senior designers and reps have also had to work in production and new manufacturing areas are being created to keep up with demand.

Bracknell News:

Charles denied Intersurgical is “urgently recruiting” new employees, but did say the firm was “getting more people in” to manage the workload.

Intersurgical is Wokingham’s second-largest employer behind Wokingham Borough Council (WBC) and around 500 staff work at the site.

Charles was full of praise for his team.

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He said: “I’ve got to say there’s a wartime spirit here.

“People are going above and beyond.

“They are volunteering for everything.

“Everyone realises, whether they chose it or not, they are part of a business that is part of the solution and basically we’ve got to keep going.

“We are risking ourselves, of course, but what else are we supposed to do?”

Bracknell News:

Intersurgical has been the subject of global attention because of the outbreak with dozens of media giants including CNN, NBC and Reuters asking to know more about the firm’s operations.

The medical-supplies company has factories all around the world and governments from other nations have offered support to Intersurgical.

But this has not been the case with the UK government, Charles added.

“I wouldn’t say the government have supported us in any way yet.

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“In Italy and Lithuania where we also have factories, there has been lots of support from the government.

“I’m not critical of the government. We’re fine on our own, but it would be good to know as the situation develops what they’re going to do to help us.

“In our minds, we do have to stay open.

“We are doing our very best.”