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Community boost as High Wycombe care home buys life-saving defibrillator

A new defibrillator is available to the High Wycombe community after being fitted at Royal Star & Garter.

The life-saving electric shock device has been placed at the front of the Home in Hughenden Avenue, after being purchased by the charity.

It led the local Ambulance Service to praise the Home for providing a “life-saving publicly accessible defibrillator” in the area.

The machine costs £1,320 and is registered with emergency services, meaning nearby members of the public making emergency 999 calls for a cardiac arrest will be directed to it.

Royal Star & Garter provides loving, compassionate care to veterans and their partners living with disability or dementia. The charity’s other Homes in Solihull and Surbiton are also fitted with defibrillators.

The Lifepak CR2 USB machine is designed to be used by someone with no medical training, with an in-built speaker giving simple step-by-step instructions to operate.  Additionally, every member of staff at Royal Star & Garter in High Wycombe has had training on how to use the device.

It also comes with a separate emergency kit, which includes items such as scissors, gloves and CPR face shield.

The Home is now alerting the local community to the defibrillator. Royal Star & Garter Lead Nurse Jean Fanning said: “Having instant access to a defibrillator saves lives, so this is an invaluable purchase for the Home and our community. We want people to know we have it, so that if it’s ever needed, they can come here and use the defibrillator.”

David Hamer, Operations Manager (Thames Valley) for Community Engagement and Training at South Central Ambulance Service (SCAS) NHS Foundation Trust, said: “I’m delighted that another life-saving publicly accessible defibrillator is available in our region thanks to the High Wycombe Home run by Royal Star & Garter.”

Illustrating the importance of defibrillators, he continued: “Last year, we began treatment on over 2,600 patients in our region who had suffered a cardiac arrest outside of a hospital or healthcare environment. Thanks to the efforts of bystanders commencing CPR before our arrival, using publicly accessible defibrillators if locally available and the amazing skills of our ambulance teams and hospital colleagues, 225 of those patients survived to leave hospital. The cardiac arrest survival rate in the SCAS region is higher than the English national average but we always want to do more, and having more defibrillators available to the public really will help us save more lives.”

Royal Star & Garter in High Wycombe is welcoming new residents. For more information on this, or to work for the charity, go to www.starandgarter.org/hw

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