Good practice example from Oldham Liberal Democrats

Oldham and Saddleworth Liberal Democrats have won an award from North West Ambulance Service for their campaigns on life-saving defibrillators across the borough.

Councillor Garth Harkness attended the North West Ambulance Cardiac Smart award on Friday 23 June in Leyland. The awards were presented to groups who have helped make the local area more resilient in terms of improving the clinical outcomes of those who have unfortunately suffered a cardiac arrest.

Saddleworth based Liberal Democrat councillors Alan Roughley, Garth Harkness and Derek Heffernan ran a campaign to get a defibrillator in every village in Saddleworth to be accessible 24 hours.

The award also recognises the work the group have done on the council to improve access to defibrillators across the borough and the work done on promoting and arranging lifesaving courses.

Councillor Garth Harkness, said: “It is a great privilege to be receiving such an award which needs to be shared with community groups and volunteers across Saddleworth. I want to pay tribute to our Saddleworth and Lees District team, officers in the public health department at Oldham Council and fellow councillors for also passing a motion to make Oldham Council more resilient in helping people suffering a cardiac arrest. Working together we have moved the odds in our area of surviving a cardiac arrest. Community spirit made this happen.”

Councillor Derek Heffernan, added: “We are pleased to see so many defibrillators accessible across the borough 24 hours; an example that other areas hopefully will follow. The guardians who check them each week are a vital part in ensuring we have good coverage.”

Shaw and Crompton Liberal Democrat councillors ensured the lifelong learning centre has a 24 hour accessible defibrillator.

Councillor Dave Murphy, said: “Outside hospital cardiac arrests every year in the UK see less than a 10% survival rate. When every minute counts it is important to be able to have quick access to defibrillators. The Ambulance service have been very supportive all the way in getting us to where we are as a borough”




Motion – Defibrillators in Public Buildings

This Council notes that:

  • Approximately 100,000 people a year die after having a sudden cardiac arrest
  • The current survival rate for out of hospital cardiac arrest is less than 10%
  • Research has shown that, while awaiting the arrival of paramedics, using a defibrillator in conjunction with CPR can increase the survival rate to over 70%

This Council, recognising its public health duties, acknowledges the value of installing more defibrillators in public buildings and large private-sector developments across the borough.

This Council resolves to:

  • Work to increase the number of defibrillators in existing and new Council buildings, such as the Civic Centre and the two new leisure centres
  • Ensure that the locations of all defibrillators in Council buildings are promptly registered with the North West Ambulance Service
  • Ensure that defibrillators in Council buildings are properly maintained and that training in their use is provided to the appropriate staff
  • Engage with the Council’s commercial partners to ensure that the new Princes Gate, Old Town Hall and Hotel Futures developments have sufficient functional defibrillators

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