DH and BHF make life saving defibrillator commitment

1 October 2015        

The two types of defibrillator

Hundreds of communities to be equipped with free life saving defibrillators and CPR skills. 

Today we, alongside the Department of Health (DH) have launched a £1 million partnership to make public access defibrillators and CPR training more widely available in communities across England.

Lack of awareness

A recent BHF poll showed few people are even aware they can use a public access defibrillator (PAD) in an emergency (38%), and only one in five (22%) say they would have the confidence to do so. This lack of awareness and availability could be costing lives.

There are more than 30,000 out of hospital cardiac arrests in the UK every year. However, fewer than one in ten people survive. In places where CPR and defibrillator awareness is widely taught, survival rates are up to three times as high.

Time to take action

We are now welcoming applications for public access defibrillators from organisations such as charities, social enterprises, community groups and commercial organisations. Each award will come with the our CPR and defibrillator awareness training programme, Call Push Rescue, allowing many more people in local communities to gain the skills and confidence to save a life.

Jane Ellison, Public Health Minister, said:  “Our £1 million partnership with the British Heart Foundation will mean life-saving defibrillators will be given to communities across the country and more people trained in CPR. Making it easier to act in an emergency will ultimately save lives.”

Simon Gillespie, Chief Executive at the British Heart Foundation, said: “Every year, people needlessly lose their lives to cardiac arrests because not enough people have the skills and confidence to perform CPR and too few defibrillators are readily available in public places.

"Through this partnership, we’re urging organisations up and down the country to join us in creating a Nation of Lifesavers by making public access defibrillators readily available in their communities and by giving people the skills and confidence to save a life. This initiative could really mean the difference between life and death for the thousands of people that suffer a cardiac arrest in England every year.”

How to apply

Organisations can check if they are eligible, and apply for the free community package online here.