I agree that a better provision of defibrillators can help save more lives of those who have a cardiac arrest outside a hospital setting.
I warmly welcome fresh steps announced in the NHS Long Term Plan (LTP), published 7th January 2019, to tackle cardiovascular disease - especially out of hospital in communities. The LTP commits to faster and more effective action to help save the lives of people suffering a cardiac arrest, as well as a national network of community first responders and defibrillators to help save up to 4,000 lives every year by 2028.
Specifically for PADs, I welcome the provision of £1 million in the 2015 Budget which led to 700 more PADs in communities across England, and a further £1 million in the March 2016 Budget.
Alongside this investment, the Government is encouraging schools to purchase a defibrillator as part of their first-aid equipment. However, the purchasing of a defibrillator is a matter for individual head teachers. To make it as easy as possible for schools to purchase a defibrillator, the Department for Education negotiated a deal with NHS Supply Chain to offer defibrillators at a reduced cost. Since this scheme was launched in November 2014, 3,353 defibrillators have been purchased this way.
A partnership between the NHS, British Heart Foundation and Microsoft to map PADs across the country will see the launch of a national database of PADs from in spring 2019, enabling a much greater understanding of areas lacking equipment. As well as building on work to improve access to PADs, it contributes to NHS England's priority to place an increased focus on reducing the impact of devastating heart and circulatory diseases.