Pendle MP welcomes £1m defibrillator community fund
MP for Pendle, Andrew Stephenson has welcomed a new £1m government fund aimed at expanding access to defibrillators.
Defibrillators give a high energy electric shock to the heart of someone who is in cardiac arrest. They can provide vital life-saving treatment, with recent research showing that accessing a defibrillator within 3-5 minutes of a cardiac arrest increases the chance of survival by over 40%.
During the summer, the government announced that state-funded schools across England will receive at least one defibrillator on site, with more devices delivered to larger schools. Sport England have also made it a condition of all capital funding awards for grassroots sport venues to include defibrillator provision if it is not already available at a given location.
This follows the government provided a £2 million grant to the British Heart Foundation in 2015 to make defibrillators more widely available to the public and increase the number of people trained in cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) in communities across England.
The 2019 NHS Long Term Plan also established a national network of community first responders and defibrillators to help save up to 4,000 lives each year by 2028.
Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, 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.”
Minister of State for Care, Helen Whately said: “We want people to have the best chance of survival from cardiac arrest, and public access to defibrillators is critical to achieving this. This fund will help us make sure there are more of these incredible devices in our communities and we save more lives.”
Mr Stephenson said, “I warmly welcome this new fund and urge local community groups and organisations to consider bidding for one.
“Having worked with the late-Ruth Sutton and the North West Ambulance Service on defibrillator access, Pendle already has good coverage but we must do more. It would be great to see life-saving defibrillators registered in even more community locations across Pendle.”
There are now 41,487 registered defibrillators in England, 53,715 in the UK as a whole – the UK number is increasing by approximately 500 per week. A database of registered defibrillators is available online at www.defibfinder.uk.