£1m funding set to boost defibrillator numbers
A new £1 million fund could increase the number of defibrillators across England by around 1,000, according to the Government.
The Department of Health said the funding will see communities across England getting around 1,000 of the life-saving devices, as part of Government efforts to support the treatment and prevention of cardiovascular disease.
Officials said the funding will be invested through an as-yet-unannounced independent partner, which will manage the grant process.
Health Secretary Steve Barclay said: “I’ve heard extraordinary stories of ordinary people being kept alive thanks to the swift use of a defibrillator on the football pitch, at the gym or in their local community.
“We must make sure these life-saving devices are more accessible, with our new £1 million fund expected to place around 1,000 new defibrillators in communities across England.”
Under the scheme, selected applicants will be required to either fully or partially match the funding received – something that the Government said will “potentially double” the number of new defibrillators created under the fund.
Applicants will be asked to show that the devices will be placed in areas most in need and with the highest footfall, such as local shops, post offices and parks.
Dr Charmaine Griffiths, chief executive at the British Heart Foundation, welcomed the scheme.
“For every minute without CPR or defibrillation, a person’s chances of survival from an out-of-hospital cardiac arrest decreases by 10%, so we welcome this move to improve access to defibrillators in communities across England,” she said.
“We urge anyone who looks after a defibrillator in their community, workplace or sports club to ensure that it is registered on The Circuit so that the ambulance services will know where it is in an emergency.”
Under the scheme, the department will provide funding for the purchase, but not the upkeep, of defibrillators.
NHS national medical director Professor Sir Stephen Powis said: “The NHS is proud to be working with local community partners to champion the importance of learning how to recognise and respond to out-of-hospital cardiac arrest – including working with St John Ambulance to recruit a national network of community advocates to encourage more people to learn CPR and lifesaving skills.”Published: by Radio NewsHub