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New defibrillator available to Surbiton community following purchase by The Royal Star & Garter Homes

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Michelle Nicholls with the new defibrillator outside The Royal Star & Garter Homes

A lifesaving defibrillator has been fitted outside The Royal Star & Garter Home in Surbiton.


The device, which delivers an electric current to restart the heart when someone is in cardiac arrest, has been placed in a prominent position by the main entrance of the care home, and is available for the community to use.


It can be seen from the busy Upper Brighton Road and bus stop near the junction with Langley Road, and has also been registered with the London Ambulance Service (LAS), meaning staff at the Home will be notified if someone nearby has collapsed.


The device is designed to be used by someone with no medical training, with an in-built speaker giving simple step-by-step instructions to operate.

The defibrillator

It cost £850 and was purchased by the Charity following two incidents where members of the public collapsed on the road close to the Home.


On one occasion last year, Trainee Nurse Associate and Clinical IT Lead Michelle Nicholls, who works at Claremont Medical Centre in Surbiton, saved the life of a collapsed cyclist by administering CPR and mouth-to-mouth before paramedics arrived.


Michelle, who went on to work on a Trainee Nursing Associate placement at The Royal Star & Garter Homes in December last year, said: “I’m very happy that there’s a defibrillator here. It’s good news for the whole community. Anybody can use it and it could save someone’s life.”


Registration of the machine with the LAS means The Royal Star & Garter Homes will be notified if a 999 call for a cardiac arrest is made within 100 metres of the Home.


The Charity is alerting community organisations including schools, Scouts and churches of the defibrillator.

Pauline Shaw, the Charity’s Director of Care, said: “Defibrillators save lives, so we’re delighted to make this invaluable purchase. We’re now letting the community know it’s here so that if it’s ever needed, people can come here for help.”


Chris Hartley Sharpe, London Ambulance Service Head of First Responders said: “Public access defibrillators are safe and simple to use and give people who suffer a cardiac arrest in the community a chance of life. Every second counts in a cardiac arrest. It is vital the patient receives immediate life-saving attention in the form of chest compressions and early defibrillation. We applaud The Royal Star & Garter Home in Surbiton for purchasing a defibrillator and registering it with us and also for ensuring the local community have access.”


Tim Harrison, editor of the free Surbiton community newspaper The Good Life, said: “This is fantastic news. The area is starting to build a vital network of defibrillators in key locations and it is great that The Royal Star & Garter Home is playing such a key part in this.”

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