Defibrillator being used in an old phone box

DHSC urges organisations to respond to new £1m defibrillator fund

Communities across England are set to benefit from up to 2,000 life-saving defibrillators as the Department of Health and Social Care launches a new funding call.

With organisations now able to register expressions of interest to the £1m automated external defibrillators fund, applicants will be asked to show where they intend to place their new equipment should they be successful.

The aim of the fund is to increase the amount of defibrillators in places where they are most needed – i.e. spaces that:

  • Record particularly high footfall
  • Centre around vulnerable people
  • Feature rural areas
  • Engage in a certain nature of activity that might incur an elevated need for a defibrillator

The government estimates that the investment will deliver approximately 1,000 new defibrillators across England, however, if successful applicants can either partially or fully match their funding, this has the potential to double.

Town halls, community centres, local shops, post offices and local parks are all viable environments where one of the new defibrillators could be placed.

NHS England’s national medical director, Professor Sir Stephen Powis, said: “This new fund is a great opportunity for grassroots organisations to ensure that their community has access to lifesaving equipment in their moment of need.”

The funding will be invested via an independent partner which will be selected through the government’s Crown Commercial Service list of approved suppliers.

The government is urging organisations to make their expressions of interest now to streamline the administration process ahead of a sector partner being chosen.

Health secretary Steve Barclay added: “I urge any organisation that may benefit from a defibrillator – whether you’re a sports club, local theatre or community hall – to register your interest for this fund so that we can get more of this life-saving technology placed around England.”

Image credit: iStock

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NHE May/June 2024

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