Heart to heart could save more lives

Victims of heart attacks in Horsham district might have a better survival chance after the launch of a new scheme.

A new Heartsafe Horsham District Communities initiative was launched at a “workshop” in the Holbrook Cub in Horsham aiming to improve cardiac arrest survival rates across the Horsham district.

Hosted by Horsham District Council, the event included participation by a variety of interested community organisations including the Horsham and Mid Sussex Clinical Commissioning Group, South East Coastal Ambulance Service, Sussex Fire Service, Horsham and Mid Sussex Voluntary Action, parish and neighbourhood councils and Sussex Police.

This newly established community initiative will work towards raising awareness amongst residents of the importance of good heart health, fundraising to establish more defibrillators across the district and encouraging more community awareness and training in how to use these life-saving pieces of kit. 

Cllr Kate Rowbottom, cabinet member for community and wellbeing at Horsham District Council said: “I am delighted that this workshop was able to take place in Horsham and I have every hope that it will begin an exciting year of awareness-raising about heart health across the district. 

“Approximately 133 people a year have a cardiac arrest in the Horsham district, about two a week, of whom only eight per cent get discharged home. With more CPR training and access to a defibrillator that figure can rise to at least 30%.”

South East Coast Ambulance Service paramedic and Clinical Operations Manager for Horsham Duncan Jones said: “It was a really positive workshop and an important stage in our ambition to improve cardiac arrest survival rates across the Horsham district.

“We’ll be looking to continue the hard work which is already taking place across the region through groups including our dedicated community first responder teams, to raise awareness of the importance of everyone learning life-saving skills and the need for more defibrillators in the community. On behalf of all my colleagues we are looking forward to being a part of this important project.”

Local GP and CCG Locality Chair for Horsham Dr Simon Dean said:  “Most cardiac arrests happen at home. People can help improve survival rates from cardiac arrest by learning the basics of how to resuscitate someone and by using a defibrillator when available.”

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