Press release

Bids invited for £1 million defibrillator fund

The government is inviting community organisations to bid for funding for a defibrillator for their area.

  • The government is inviting community organisations to bid for funding for an automated external defibrillator (AED) for their area
  • £1 million fund to increase the number of AEDs in public places where they are most needed
  • Funding will provide an estimated 1000 new defibrillators in community spaces across England

Organisations across England are being invited to bid for a share of £1 million of government funding to buy life-saving defibrillators for community spaces like town halls, local parks or post offices.

The Department of Health and Social Care is inviting interested organisations to register expressions of interest for its £1 million Community Automated External Defibrillators Fund, aimed at increasing the number of AEDs in public places where they are most needed and help save lives.

An estimated 1,000 new defibrillators are to be provided by the fund, with the potential for this to double as successful applicants will be asked to match the funding they receive partially or fully.

As part of the grant award, applicants will be asked to demonstrate that defibrillators will be placed in areas where they are most needed, such as places with high footfall, vulnerable people, rural areas or due to the nature of activity at the site.

Examples could include town halls, community centres, local shops, post offices and local parks, to ensure that defibrillators are evenly spread throughout communities and easily accessible if someone is experiencing an unexpected cardiac arrest.

Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, Steve Barclay, said:

We know, through inspiring stories of ordinary people, being kept alive thanks to the swift use of a defibrillator in public, that these extraordinary devices must be accessible to all.

I urge any organisation that may benefit from a defibrillator - whether you’re a sports club, local theatre or community hall - to register your interest for this fund so that we can get more of this life-saving technology placed around England.

Minister of State for Care, Helen Whately, said:

When a friend, family member, neighbour or even a total stranger is experiencing cardiac arrest, the quick use of a defibrillator in an easy to reach place can be the lifeline that keeps them with us.

If you run a space in your community that could benefit from one, please register your interest for our £1 million grant, and join our drive to widen the availability of this incredible technology.

Professor Sir Stephen Powis, National Medical Director for NHS England said:

When someone goes into cardiac arrest it’s crucial that they are given effective CPR and quick defibrillation to restart their heart.

This new fund is a great opportunity for grassroots organisations to ensure that their community has access to lifesaving equipment in their moment of need.

As the NHS turns 75, we will continue to adopt new technology and promote access to innovations, such as automated external defibrillator, which can improve care and treatment for patients and help save lives.

Cllr James Jamieson, Chairman of the Local Government Association said:

Councils are working hard to install new defibrillators where they are needed the most, such as in parks and community spaces as well providing funding for local organisations to do the same.

This new funding will help to support this vital effort, helping to potentially save the lives of thousands of people across the country.

The department will invest the funding through an independent partner, drawn from the government’s Crown Commercial Service list of approved suppliers, to manage grant applications from bidding organisations.

To accelerate the administration of the grant in advance of the partner being chosen, prospective organisations who wish to obtain funding for a defibrillator are now invited to register an expression of interest with the Department of Health and Social Care.

Organisations who submit an expression of interest will be notified once grant applications open to the Department of Health and Social Care’s £1 million Community AED Fund.

The funding is part of the government’s drive to equip the health system with the right technology to ease pressures, reduce backlogs and cut waiting lists, and to improve public access to care when they need it.

Background information

Defibrillators can be registered on The Circuit.

Organisations can submit an expression of interest.

To update the details in your expression of interest, submit a new response from the same device you used for the original submission.

Published 28 June 2023
Last updated 28 June 2023 + show all updates
  1. A link to the expressions of interest form has been added.

  2. First published.