Barnsley Set For Life-saving Boost to Improve Cardiac Arrest Survival Rates

10 January 2020

Royston High Street gets a defibrillator

Celebrating the installation of a community public access defibrillator outside Lifestyle Express, High Street, Royston. Pictured, from left, Sylvia Washington (Healthy Hearts), Don Gent (Healthy Hearts), Graham Kyte (Ward Alliance), Cllr Tim Cheetham (Ward Alliance), John Craig (Ward Alliance), Joanne Watson (YAS), Cllr Caroline Makinson (Ward Alliance) and Steve Plunkett (Healthy Hearts)

Funding has been secured to provide 22 life-saving community public access defibrillators in the Barnsley area to help patients in cardiac arrest.

The £18,500 donation from Barnsley Long Term Heart Support Exercise Groups was given to Yorkshire Ambulance Service NHS Trust to place the equipment in areas where there is the greatest need.

Additional funding from Barnsley Metropolitan Borough Council ward alliances will mean at least 22 life-saving defibrillators will be available for use in the event of the ultimate medical emergency. The first three will be placed in Royston at Lifestyle Express, High Street, the Police Station, Station Road, and the Pavillion at Royston Park early in January 2020. The remaining locations will be identified in due course.

Joanne Watson, Community Defibrillation Co-ordinator for Yorkshire Ambulance Service, said: “One of our current priorities is increasing the number of community public access defibrillators as defibrillation, together with CPR, are essential steps in the chain of survival. We are delighted with this generous investment which will undoubtedly save lives.”

Cllr Caroline Makinson, of Barnsley Metropolitan Borough Council, said: “These vital pieces of equipment are invaluable and we appreciate the joined-up work with the Barnsley Long Term Exercise Heart Support Group (Barnsley Healthy Hearts), Yorkshire Ambulance Service, along with local electricians A. Coole Electrical, Station Road, Royston, who are giving their time freely to ensure we get them installed.”

Steve Plunkett, from the Barnsley Long Term Exercise Heart Support Group (Barnsley Healthy Hearts), said: “I would like to voice my appreciation to all the individuals and their respective groups involved in ensuring that many different locations in the Barnsley borough will benefit from the installation of much-needed defibrillation units.

“Special mention to Joanne Watson (Yorkshire Ambulance Service), Councillor Caroline Makinson (Royston Ward Alliance), Caroline Donovan (North East Area Council Manager), Andrew Coole (A Coole Electrical Ltd, Royston) and of course to members and former members of the Barnsley LTE Heart Support Groups from both Dorothy Hyman, Cudworth, and Barnsley Healthy Hearts, Royston, for agreeing to release dormant funds to aid and support such an invaluable cause.”

A cardiac arrest is when your heart suddenly stops pumping blood round your body, commonly because of a problem with electrical signals in your heart. When your heart stops pumping blood, your brain is starved of oxygen. This causes you to fall unconscious and stop breathing. A defibrillator is a device that gives a high energy electric shock to the heart of someone who is in cardiac arrest.

Over 30,000 people suffer cardiac arrests outside of hospital in the UK every year. The earlier someone can call 999 and the patient can receive CPR and a shock from a defibrillator, the greater their chance of survival. The defibrillators will be securely kept in a locked cabinet, the code to which can be accessed by calling 999.

If any other areas are interested in installing a defibrillator, please contact Joanne Watson at Yorkshire Ambulance Service, via email

Produced by: Corporate Communications Department