“We’ll also set aside £1 million to help buy defibrillators for public places, including schools, and support training in their use to save more lives” was the pledge from Chancellor George Osborne yesterday, a pledge that has been broadly welcomed by charities involved in projects which involve the provision of defibrillators and life saving equipment and training for the public.
The actual budget report states:
2.21 Defibrillators – The government will provide £1 million in 2015-16 to the Department of Health to incentivise the purchase of defibrillators for use in public places, and provide training on how to use the equipment.
Whilst the details of how the funds will be utilised are yet to be unveiled The Stephen Carey Fund welcomed the announcement wholeheartedly with Chairman Scott McEwan commenting “we understand the difficult choices the Government has to make whilst we are in challenging financial times so for the Chancellor to set aside funds to provide more defibrillators in public locations was fantastic news”.
It is acknowledged that £1m is insufficient to provide even one defibrillator for every school let alone satisfy the growing demand from other public buildings and communities but it is recognition from the Government that defibrillators can make a difference and can play a part in a strategy to combat the number of tragic deaths as a result of cardiac arrest each year.