Lewes MP welcomes British Heart Foundation’s National Defib Network announcement

Maria Caulfield MP has welcomed news from the British Heart Foundation that they are to launch a National Defibrillator Network (NDN).

In the last Parliament Maria Caulfield tabled a Private Members Bill on Defibrillators, one section of which would have implemented such a national network of defibrillators. Due to the snap General Election Maria Caulfield’s Bill ran out of time to be passed into law. However Maria has continued to press for such a lifesaving database of defibrillators.

Despite the widespread availability of defibrillators, the majority of these are not known to the ambulance services and, sadly, only 2% of people suffering an out-of-hospital cardiac arrest (OHCA) receive defibrillation from a bystander.

The British Heart Foundation’s new national programme, the National Defibrillator Network (NDN) which they are developing over the next 12 months in partnership with the NHS and ambulance services across the UK, will identify and map the location of defibrillators (both public and restricted access) across the UK and make this information available so that 999 call operators can direct bystanders in an emergency to the nearest defibrillator. This is an exciting and ground-breaking programme that could, ultimately, help save the lives of people across the country that experience an OHCA.

Maria Caulfield MP said “During my Private Members’ Bill last year I found out just how vital quick access to a defibrillator can be during an out of hospital cardiac arrest. Sadly every minute without CPR or defibrillation reduces a person’s chance of surviving a cardiac arrest by around ten per cent.”

“It is excellent that in recent years many communities and private venues have installed defibrillators, but if there was an emergency right now would you know where to find the nearest one? Unless you know a place well it could be difficult. If 999 call handlers can tell a caller instantly the location of a nearby defibrillator this could easily save lives every single day”

“I am delighted that the British Heart Foundation is picking up on the recommendation from my Private Members’ Bill and am looking forward to the National Defibrillator Network going live in the next 12 months.”