Community defibrillator project under way in Hambleton, Richmondshire and Eskdale

A new project aiming to provide community access defibrillators in remote rural locations has been launched across Hambleton, Richmondshire and the Eskdale area of the North York Moors. Funding from the local Clinical Commissioning Group has been provided, and further funding is being sought from local sources. Members of the public are being invited to submit their ideas about where the units should be sited and to volunteer to look after the units.

The provision of a Community Public Access Defibrillator (cPAD) can make all the difference to someone suffering a heart attack in a remote location, and helps provide additional cover to that provided by the excellent network of Community First Responders. In the event of a cardiac emergency, dialling 999 will not only summon an ambulance but also provide information about nearby cPADs and the access code to activate them.

No formal training is required to use a cPAD, and the user is supported and guided through the process by the 999 telephone operator until an ambulance arrives. It is impossible to accidentally misuse a cPAD as the unit analyses the patient's condition and will only deliver a charge when necessary. Using the unit holds no risk for members of the public, but Yorkshire Ambulance Service NHS Trust (YAS) have indicated that they will be able to provide basic life support training within any local community where a cPAD is located.

Hambleton, Richmondshire and Whitby Clinical Commissioning Group have kickstarted the project by purchasing the cabinets which house the cPAD units. Defibrillators themselves will have to be purchased by communities who wish to host one. They cost around £900 and it is hoped that local organisations such as local Lions or Roundtable groups or Parish Councils will be able to assist with this.

The cabinets should be placed in a prominent village location, with access to an electricity point as the case has a trickle of electricity to keep the unit frost-free. Ongoing costs are minimal with energy consumption that of a low energy light bulb (Approx. £5 per annum). The battery is a lithium battery and comes in a sealed unit which does not need recharging; the warranty for the battery is four years and the defibrillator itself is guaranteed for seven years.

The unit will also require a Guardian. Their responsibility is a simple process: if the device is used YAS will ring the Guardian to ensure the device is reset properly - the electrode pads can only be used once and need to be replaced to ensure that the cPAD is always ready for use.

To recommend a location in your community, to volunteer as a Guardian or to just find out more, use the relevant contact below for your local area.

Hambleton: Leeming Village, Snape, Coxwold, Raskelf, Newton under Roseberry, Carthorpe, Exelby, Thornton Le Moor, Hawnby, Osmotherly.

Contact: Ken Elliott at

Whitby & area: Egton, Lealholm, Castleton, Commondale, Westerdale, Danby, Ainthorpe, Houlsyke, Stonegate, Beck Hole, Kidale, Ingleby Greenhow, Battersby, Chop Gate, Lythe, Staithes

Contact: Linda Lloyd at

Richmondshire: West Burton, Thoralby, Hunton, Newton-le-Willows, Constable Burton, Fingall Bainbridge, Marske, Preston-under-Scar, Thornton Rust, Asygarth, West Witton.

Contact: Jane Ritchie at