Hundreds of communities to be equipped with defibrillators, following £1 million government funding

11 November 2016        

Category: Survival and support

Defibrillator equipment

New £1 million partnership with the Department of Health launched to make public access defibrillators and CPR training more widely available in communities across England.

Over 700 defibrillators were placed across the country last year, thanks to the first £1 million of government funding from the Department of Health. So far, we have helped fund over 14,000 life saving defibrillators in towns, cities and villages across the UK. 

Our latest figures from show just 22 per cent people in the UK would use a defibrillator in an emergency. This lack of awareness and confidence could be costing lives.

Government support

Secretary of State for Health, Jeremy Hunt, said:

“I’m delighted to be working with the British Heart Foundation for a second year. Our £1 million investment will provide hundreds of defibrillators as well as training in CPR to communities across the country.

“I congratulate the British Heart Foundation on their tireless work in this important project. It will empower people to know what to do in an emergency and save lives.”

Cardiac arrest 

When someone suffers a cardiac arrest, their heart stops pumping blood around their body and they will die within minutes without treatment. For every minute without defibrillation, a person’s chance of survival decreases by around 10 percent.  

However, a bystander giving immediate CPR and defibrillation can double a person’s chances of survival in some cases. 

Apply now for defibrillators and CPR kits

We now welcome applications for public access defibrillators from organisations such as charities, social enterprises, community groups and commercial organisations working in partnership with the NHS Ambulance Service. Each award will come with 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. 

The BHF was awarded the grant to deliver the programme, with support from a network of organisations including NHS England, the Arrhythmia Alliance, the Resuscitation Council UK and the Association of Ambulance Chief Executives

Simon Gillespie, Chief Executive at the British Heart Foundation, said:

“Right now just one in ten people in the UK survive a cardiac arrest. Sadly not enough people have the skills and confidence to perform CPR and too few defibrillators are readily available in public places. 

“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 partnership could mean the difference between life and death for the thousands of people who suffer a cardiac arrest in England every year.”

Organisations can check if they are eligible, and apply for the free community package including up to five public access defibrillators and a Call Push Rescue training kit.

Apply now