A former hospital doctor has made a special donation which could help to save the lives of people in Chorley town centre.
Dr Grant McKeating, who worked as a consultant at Lancashire Teaching Hospitals for 15 years, has paid for the installation of a public access defibrillator on Clifford Street.
The defibrillator will give a high energy electric shock, given to the heart in some types of cardiac arrest, may restore a more stable rhythm and may be essential in saving somebody’s life.
It will be placed outside Dr Grant McKeating new business RejuvaMed Skin Clinic, a medical cosmetics clinic, which he opened last year after leaving the trust.
The doctor said his clinic has ‘flourished’ in the last 12 months and he wanted to say thank-you to the community by installing the defibrillator for the use of his clinic, ambulance paramedics, and anybody else in the town who may need it.
Dr McKeating, who lives in Buckshaw Village, said: “It gives me pleasure to give something back to the community that has given so much support to my business.
“It made more sense to me to spend a bit of money because this area of town doesn’t have a public defibrillator for people to use.
“People also need to know that this exists because it is such an important thing to have.
“And I know it will save lives.”
The defibrillator was installed with the help of the North West Ambulance Service (NWAS) and Chorley Council and the clinic is currently waiting for official confirmation that it is ready to use.
“I’m very aware of hospital emergency services which I used to attend myself,” Dr McKeating added.
“So I know I might be able to help people around the town if they ever need to use this.
“When people ring for an ambulance in the area they can be given the combination code for the defibrillator and use it to help save somebody’s life.
“It is very simple to operate with the help of paramedics over the phone.
“It could be vital in saving somebody’s life if they collapse.”
Public access defibrillators, which have saved many lives across the country, used to be installed by the British Heart Foundation, but the charity can now only offer part-funding for the equipment.
Cheryl Pickstock, paramedic and chain of survival lead for NWAS, said: “It’s great to work by RejuvaMed and Chorley Council to place this valued piece of life saving equipment into the community.
“Defibrillators significantly increase someone’s chance of survival in cardiac arrest.
“The AED is housed in the locked external cabinet, and access would be given during a 999 call by the dispatcher when required in a cardiac arrest situation.”
The ambulance service is also working to strengthen the ‘chain of survival’ by teaching people basic life skills such as CPR skills and familiarising people with public defibrillators.
For more information about their campaign and to find out how to use the defibrillator, visit the NWAS website at: www.cardiacsmart.nwas.nhs.uk.