Defibrillator network grows in Grantham

Grantham now has an enviable network of life-saving defibrillator machines positioned across the town, helped by South Kesteven District Council.

Concerns about A&E facilities at Grantham Hospital spurred councillors to provide six new defibrillators in addition to existing machines and three provided by other organisations.

The defibrillators, each costing around £1,500 to  buy and install, deliver a high energy electric shock to restart the heart of someone who is in cardiac arrest.

One near the George Centre and another near SKDC's Abbey Gardens customer services centre, have already been used in emergencies.

Cllr Annie Mason, SKDC Cabinet Member for Communities, said: "The safety of residents is of huge importance to us. We have supported the fight to keep emergency services at Grantham Hospital since initial fears arose.

"Providing defibrillators is an unusual step for a council to take but concerns over emergency care at the hospital led us to establish this network where people congregate.

"It's even better to know that they have already potentially saved lives and people should not feel scared to use them. There are basic instructions on every defibrillator to allow anyone to use them in an emergency."

Cllr Charmaine Morgan, chairman of SOS Grantham Hospital, has been instrumental in creating the defibrillator network and gave her 2019-20 SKDC Ward Member Grant of £1,000 towards the cost of one recently installed in Dysart Park.

She said: "Given the ongoing issues with the hospital and the loss of its A&E, defibrillators in accessible places in the town have become absolutely vital. They provide a real safety net, and it's re-assuring that we have life-saving equipment available to the public."

SKDC-funded defibrillators are located at Riverside, New Beacon Road, Witham Place, Conduit Lane, Abbey Gardens, Guildhall Arts Centre, Wyndham Park and at Mowbeck House near the council's Alexandra Road depot.  Another is to be sited on Grantham's Earlesfield estate.

Elsewhere, a defibrillator in Dysart Park was provided by SOS Grantham Hospital and Grantham Lions, the one outside the George Centre waspaid for by the Rotary Club of Grantham Kesteven, and cinema operator Savoy provided another in the public realm at St Peter's Hill.

There are also cardiac arrest treatment machines outside the Bourne Corn Exchange and within the Stamford Arts Centre. Machines are regularly serviced by the Lincolnshire Integrated Voluntary Emergency Service (LIVES) and re-calibrated after every use.