A Tory member of parliament has demanded that automatic external defibrillators become a requirement for all new housing developments.
The Automated External Defibrillators (Housing Developments) Bill was proposed by Stephen Metcalfe, who referred to it as a “vital step in our endeavour to increase arrest survival rates.”
The proposed legislation provides financing for defibrillator maintenance and requires its installation in all new housing complexes.
The South Basildon and East Thurrock MP said: “While I acknowledge the very positive steps that have been taken to provide defibrillators in every school, and on our high streets…this Bill specifically targets one area which is yet to be addressed, private residential homes.
“As such, it is crucial to note that most of out-of-hospital cardiac arrests, in fact occur in private residential homes.
“In the UK, according to the Resuscitation Council, more than 70% of out-of-hospital cardiac arrests occur in the home.
“However, when I looked at the defib finder online for my constituency and others, it was apparent that defibrillators are predominantly installed in non-residential areas. This is a problem.”
According to Mr. Metcalfe, Swedish experts have discovered that a person has a three times higher chance of surviving a cardiac arrest in a public setting than they do at home.
He noted: “This statistic could be mirrored in the UK, which is why I am calling for a legal requirement to ensure that all new housing developments have a defibrillator as an essential piece of life-saving equipment.”
On the additional financial burden on developers, he said: “The cost of a defib is small in relation to the entire budget of a housing project, just over £1,000.”
He concluded his speech, saying: “My Bill has two very important aspects.
“One, the provision of defibrillators in every new housing development over 10 dwellings and two, the provision of 10 years maintenance funding, all for around an additional cost of £2,500 or £250 a property.
“A small price to pay for immediate access to a life-saving defibrillator.”
Mr. Metcalfe used the 10-minute rule motion method to propose his bill, giving him 10 minutes to lay out her ideas.
The Bill was scheduled for second reading on November 24, however given the limited time available in the legislature to discuss bills introduced by backbench MPs, it is unlikely to advance further in its current form.