Defibrillator Incident Update

Many people will be aware of the incident on The Green on Friday 30th June (previous post HERE ) and the concern expressed as regards the failure of the Ambulance Service to provide the code to both the hall’s device and the delay in getting access to the one outside the Blacksmith’s in Kingsley Holt.

First of all we send our deepest condolences to the family of Mrs Kath Jones.

The Chair of the Hall committee wrote to West Midlands Ambulance Service immediately after the incident and asked that they investigate the circumstances surrounding it. This was followed by a letter from the family sent to the Parish Council which was forwarded on to the service.

Following the investigation and discussions between the hall committee and the WMAS we are able to advise as to the outcome of their investigation.

Quite simply the issue was one that is best described as an organisational failure in that despite being advised to the contrary, the ambulance service did not have a system that allowed call- taking staff access to the cabinet lock code via the box identification number. Senior staff had such access but the call taking staff had not been advised of this. This is the reason that when at both locations the box code was supplied the call takers did not know how to locate the lock code.

As a result of the investigation, a system has now been put into place and staff trained to prevent this occurring again.

Another issue that arose following the incident is that the location where the lady collapsed was just over 200 metres from the cabinet at the hall. The system that alerts call takers to the availability of the defibrillator had been set with a radius of 200 metres meaning that in this instance the call taker was not advised of the existence of the defibrillator by the call taking system. This prevented the code being made available automatically.

It is worth pointing out that when the devices were installed we were advised that the code was all that was required to gain the lock code and there was no mention of a 200-metre activation radius.

A senior manager from the WMAS attended the latest meeting of Kingsley Parish Council and updated councillors as stated above.

Initial discussions with WMAS has led to them extending the radius to 500 metres from each box, this gives almost complete coverage to Kingsley and improved for Kingsley Holt. It should be borne in mind that a person will potentially have to cover 1000 metres to get the device which may mean an ambulance being there before them.

The matter will be further  discussed at the next council meeting to decide on a number of issues namely :

  1. The long term management of all three devices in Kingsley / Kingsley Holt and Froghall (there are also two at Whiston)
  2. Taking up the offer of a further free device to be sighted in Kingsley Holt to give improved coverage (a further cabinet will need to be purchased via fund raising)
  3. Raising funds to purchase a cabinet for the device at the Railway Pub at Froghall.
  4. Consideration to taking off the locks from the cabinets – trials elsewhere have not led to thefts or damage to any devices.

In addition, the code has or will be given to the local school, bowling club, church and the Bull’s Head pub.

A number of nearby residents have volunteered to hold the code and have their details sited at the cabinet in Kingsley to ensure that should there be any issues access may be speeded up. This will be sorted out in the coming days. (Thank you to those who volunteered)

At Kingsley Holt, the new landlord has the code (the previous ones did not hand it over on leaving) and similar considerations as in Kingsley will be discussed.

It has been mentioned that the post code for the hall was not displayed by the cabinet. This was not required, as has been stated the box number should have been sufficient to elicit the code.

It is also worth pointing out that once the facts were ascertained it was clear that the actions of those on the night who tried to resuscitate Mrs Jones and to get defibrillator out of the cabinet deserve the highest praise.

We will, of course, update you in due course.