On Tuesday the Oliver King Foundation and I met with Health Minister David Mowat to discuss what the Government can do to support the placing of defibrillators in all schools and key public areas. The meeting was very positive. Representatives from the foundation presented the case for placing defibrillators in public areas very clearly.
So far the defibrillators that have been put in place due to the work of the foundation have saved 12 lives. Evidence shows that defibrillators can save lives. After a cardiac arrest the chances of survival increase from 10% to 50% when rapid and effective defibrillation is given.
Sadly the Government would not agree to supply additional funding for the defibrillators but has instead agreed to commission some work looking into the cost effectiveness of placing defibrillators in schools and public areas.
The work will test the cost effectiveness of the defibrillators using the same measure that the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE) use. The measure says that for every £1 million spent on the defibrillators they only have to save one life to be deemed cost effective. I am certain that the defibrillators will fit this criteria and get the funding needed.
The meeting has been a positive step in the right direction and a testament to the hard work of everyone at the Oliver King Foundation. The Minister has agreed to update me on the progress of the piece of work. I will stay in touch with him to hold him to the commitment he has made.