Will the Minister confirm (a) how many and (b) what proportion of schools are currently equipped with defibrillators?
According to information obtained from Save a Life Cymru (SaLC), in 2018, Transport for Wales (TfW) undertook an audit of all current defibrillator machines across its stations to identify the need for additional machines. As of January 2023, 200 of 247 TfW stations are equipped with a defibrillator and all are registered with the National Defibrillator Network (called the Circuit). TfW and SaLC are also working in partnership to raise awareness of defibrillators including holding teaching sessions on their use in Cardiff Central and Wrexham stations.
Every state school in Wales has had the opportunity to access a Welsh Government-funded defibrillator. In North Wales, between 2018 and 2020 a partnership between Betsi Cadwaladr University Health Board, Welsh Ambulance Services NHS Trust (WAST) and the cardiac charity SADS UK ensured every state secondary school had a defibrillator on site. During a similar timeframe, all state secondary schools in Mid and South Wales which did not already have a defibrillator were offered a free device by WAST.
In September 2021, the Welsh Government made £500,000 available to WAST to enable community groups, sporting grounds, public organisations and schools access to a defibrillator and also offered a further boost of £500,000 in February 2022. The application process was managed by SaLC with the requirement that all defibrillators had to be housed in an external cabinet, registered with the Circuit, and be available for public access without restrictions, 24 hours a day. The application process has since ended but people and organisations who want to procure a defibrillator are encouraged to contact SaLC for guidance and assistance in the process.