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Proposed Defibrillator Bill in Parliament

Published on 18th November 2016

MP for Lewes Maria Caulfield has proposed a bill in parliament that would require all schools to have defibrillators installed.

Her motion, the Defibrillators (Availability) Bill, was passed in the House of Commons and if it becomes law, would require all schools, sports centres and public facilities to have a defibrillator and provide defibrillator training to staff.

Ms Caulfield has been championing the campaign since schoolboy Oliver King suffered cardiac arrest and died on a school swimming lesson in 2011. The Liverpool youngster was just 12 when he died, and Ms Caulfield claimed the lack of a defibrillator at the scene, and it taking 24 minutes for an ambulance to arrive at the scene, contributed to his death.

An online petition calling for all schools to install defibrillators received 110,000 signatures, ensuring the issue would be debated in parliament.

Oliver’s father Mark King told the Liverpool Echo that the campaign – which is being led by the Oliver King Foundation – now has the support of 350 MPs.

“At the foundation we’ve worked hard to put 1,000 defibrillators out around the country at the minute and we’ve saved 11 lives, so it does work,” he said.

Currently, schools are recommended to have a defibrillator, under government guidelines that were amended after campaigning by the Oliver King Foundation. The bill is due to be debated in parliament on 27 January 2017, the BBC reported.

Earlier this year, the South Central Ambulance Service NHS Trust launched an app that allows people to find their nearest defibrillator if someone is having a heart attack.