Communities across Berkshire are now a little bit safer thanks to a very generous donation from Pump Technology Ltd that has enabled eight new automated external defibrillators to be installed across Newbury, Reading and Bracknell.
Less than one in ten people in the UK survive an out-of-hospital cardiac arrest. Two of the biggest factors contributing to this low number are that there aren’t enough people prepared to perform CPR when someone has a cardiac arrest, and that there aren’t enough defibrillators available across the UK.
In the last 12 months where data is available, emergency responders from South Central Ambulance Service NHS Foundation Trust (SCAS) began CPR on 2,603 patients who had a witnessed cardiac arrest; 225 of those (8.6%) survived. There are currently 5,243 defibrillators in the South Central region registered on The Circuit and in the last 12 months, these have been used 424 times in emergencies.
As well as the funding for the purchase and installation of the eight defibrillators, Pump Technology Ltd also donated a further £2,500 to South Central Ambulance Charity to support the work of the charity’s community first responders (CFRs). CFRs are funded entirely by donations and when not being deployed to emergency incidents, including delivering life-saving patient care, they often give their time at community events to demonstrate to members of the public how to carry out CPR and use a defibrillator. This work is vitally important as only just over half the people in the UK say they would be able to perform CPR if a loved one had a cardiac arrest in front of them. This is despite the fact that 80 per cent of out-of-hospital cardiac arrests happen in the home.
David Hamer, Operations Manager – Community Engagement & Training at SCAS, said: “I am delighted to have worked in collaboration with Pump Technology Ltd and Andy Keast of The London Irish Foundation on this project. This most generous donation has allowed us to purchase eight new AEDs, and with the amazing help of both the Reading and Bracknell Business Improvement District (BID), we have sited these units in new cabinets across Berkshire.
“I would also like to thank all the business owners that have agreed to have these cabinets sited on their premises; without their assistance this project could never have been completed. I do hope these units never have to be used, but in the event of a cardiac arrest they could prove literally lifesaving.”
A spokesperson for Pump Technology Ltd said: “Ever since It was created, Pump Technology Ltd has always invested time, effort and money in supporting good “local” causes, with a particular emphasis on sport, youth and community enhancement. To celebrate this, their 30-year anniversary, the company is proud to have donated these eight, potentially life-saving, defibrillator units. This is part of a larger programme with other units already in place.”
Jonathan Barker, Pump Technology’s Managing Director said: “Although we are a national organisation, we never forget our proud Berkshire roots”.
The donation and installation of the defibrillators would also not have been possible without the support of Bracknell Bid and Reading Bid, along with the local businesses, charities and councils in providing the sites.
The eight new defibrillators are located at:
One Stop Shop, 1, Kiln Road, Shaw, Newbury, RG14 2HE
John Lewis, Broad Street, Reading, RG1 2BB
Launchpad Reading, The Stables, 1A Merchants Place, Reading, RG1 1DT
Forbury Gardens, Reading, RG1 3EJ
Southern Fried Chicken, Unit 1, Headley Road East, Woodley, RG5 4SQ
Mill Park, Bracknell, RG12 7WT
Toolstation, Trade City, Easthampstead Road, Bracknell, RG12 1YQ
Waitrose, Waite House, Doncastle Road, Bracknell, RG12 8YA
All the defibrillators have been registered with The Circuit, the national defibrillator network, which ensures ambulance services can search, find and direct people to a nearby defibrillator if available, when someone calls 999 reporting a patient in cardiac arrest.
Notes for editors:
- Pump Technology Ltd Is one of the largest suppliers of sewage and waste water pumping systems in the UK. Founded over 30 years ago by Chairman Jeremy Brownlee, the company, which is based in Aldermaston, now has over 25 employees and is a great supporter of many local charities, clubs and events.
- South Central Ambulance Service NHS Foundation Trust (SCAS) provides a range of emergency, urgent care and non-emergency healthcare services, along with commercial logistics services, to the populations of the South Central region – Berkshire, Buckinghamshire, Hampshire and Oxfordshire – as well as non-emergency patient transport services in Surrey and Sussex.
- SCAS now serves a population of seven million people across the six counties and employs more than 4,600 staff who, together with over 1,000 volunteer community and co-responders, enable the organisation to attend more than 508,000 incidents via 999, handle 1.3 million calls to NHS 111 and make 970,000 patient transport service journeys every year (all data from 2022/23).
- SCAS is a foundation trust, which means it has thousands of members and a Council of Governors which form an integral part of the governance structure of the Trust. Being a foundation trust means there are more opportunities for patients and their families, staff and local residents to play a part in the future of the organisation by becoming members. Find out more here.
- South Central Ambulance Charity raises funds to support SCAS. All the money raised by the Charity is used to enhance services, projects and equipment across the Trust. The Charity works across Berkshire, Buckinghamshire, Hampshire and Oxfordshire, as well as supporting patient transport services in Surrey and Sussex. Find out more here.
Photo supplied is a stock image of a similar publicly accessible defibrillator as those newly installed.
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 Source: NHS England. Ambulance Clinical Outcomes April 2022-March 2023. Survival at 30 days after cardiac arrest.
 Data from 1 September 2022-3 September 2023
 Source: British Heart Foundation press release, 1 February 2023 Only half of UK adults confident they could perform CPR on a loved one