Residents of Somerleyton in Suffolk are better equipped to cope if someone in the village suffers a heart attack thanks to help from East Coast Community Healthcare (ECCH).
Claire Diggins, a member of ECCH’s Out of Hospital team in Lowestoft, felt a defibrillator would benefit the rural community and spoke to Somerleyton Parish Council about its potential benefits in the event of someone suffering a cardiac arrest. As a result, the Somerleyton Award charity bought a defibrillator which has been installed outside the village hall.
Claire then spoke to ECCH trainer Simon Drewett who agreed to provide some training for villagers free of charge. They were taught to operate the defibrillator and also to give CPR (Cardiopulmonary resuscitation) in the event that someone stops breathing. Claire has since set up a telephone support group of 19 volunteers who attended the training and who are willing to be contacted by anyone requiring help using the defibrillator in the future.
Claire said: “Every minute without CPR or defibrillation reduces a person's chance of surviving a cardiac arrest by around 10% so, in a rural location like Somerleyton, this equipment and training could really be a life saver. It’s very reassuring for people to know that they have this life-saving piece of equipment close by should they ever need it – and it also means the people who attended our training now have the confidence to respond to a cardiac arrest elsewhere.”
ECCH provides NHS community health services across Norfolk and Waveney. As a social enterprise, it uses surplus resources for the benefit of local communities.