The winter months are always some of the busiest, both in Westminster and in the constituency, however, following a conversation with the Young Mayor of Seaford, Jessica Batchelor earlier this year, I decided that the time was right to bring forward a Bill to increase the availability of defibrillators to the public.
My role as a nurse means that I am all too aware of the dangers posed by a cardiac arrest, where there are just 8 minutes in which a person’s life can be saved. In the UK there are more than 30,000 out-of-hospital cardiac arrests each year. Tragically, less than 1 in 10 of those survive.
I was therefore delighted to bring forward the Defibrillators (Availability) Bill this November. Some of those most at risk live in rural communities, like those within my constituency, where the closest defibrillator is, in the majority of cases, simply too far away to have any impact.
I have therefore prepared a Bill with cross-party support, which if passed will mean that we see defibrillators in GP surgeries, leisure centres, village halls and educational establishments across the country.
The Government has also announced that they will again be providing the British Heart Foundation with £1 million, which last year paid for 700 defibrillators and CPR kits. This, together with fundraising carried out by local members of the community, such as the Young Mayor of Seaford, is already ensuring that those that suffer a cardiac arrest have a better chance of survival, and this Bill will go some way to improving those chances even further still.
Should your local community be interested in applying for a defibrillator, then please contact my office, and I shall gladly assist you in your bid to the British Heart Foundation for funding.