RCUK Parliamentary Briefing: Public Access to Defibrillators 

Image of a Red Defibrillator behind glass with a green label saying 'Defibrillator' on it

The Resuscitation Council UK is committed to giving people, across the UK, the skills they need to save a life – and having access to a defibrillator is essential in achieving this. 

RCUK has published a joint briefing paper with St John Ambulance and the British Heart Foundation, explaining why public access to defibrillators shortens the time ‘from collapse to first shock’ in community settings across the UK.

Read Parliamentary Briefing: Public Access to Defibrillators 

Key recommendations

•    Public access defibrillators should be located in high-risk areas first 

•    Defibrillator guardians should register their device with The Circuit: the national defibrillator network which allows all ambulance services to see the data 

•    Government and local authorities should invest in community first aid education 

•    Every secondary school should offer, where possible, at least one public-access defibrillator 

•    Insurance cover should be provided for unlocked defibrillator cabinets 

Across the UK, survival rates from an out-of-hospital cardiac arrest remains low, and one key reason is that defibrillation is not provided quickly enough. 

With every minute that defibrillation is delayed, the individual's chance of survival falls by about 10%. But with the immediate provision of bystander CPR and defibrillation, the rate of survival is increased two-to-threefold.

On Tuesday 4 July 2023, RCUK will be attending a Westminster Hall debate on public access defibrillators, where we will hear  Members of Parliament discussing this important issue.

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