Heart charity backs MP's defib campaign
Rotherham’s Start a Heart 24:7 is backing the national campaign launched by John Healey alongside Wath-based defibrillator distributor Martek Lifecare and the British Healthcare Trades Association earlier this year.
The Wentworth and Dearne MP wants to put a stop to the 20 per cent VAT charge on the sale of the heart-starting kit which local groups, sports clubs and charities face under current regulations.
Start a Heart 24:7 is dedicated to helping provide 24-7 access to defibrillators in the community.
The charity's founder, Trish Lister, said: “I saw John’s campaign to cut the VAT charge on defibrillators and thought it was a simple idea that could help save thousands of lives across the country.
“Defibrillators are vital life-saving devices but lots of different groups across the borough find it hard to raise the money they need to buy them.
“We support communities in their fundraising for the devices and cutting VAT on the purchase would reduce costs by around £200 each time, making it easier to get defibrillators in the places they’re needed.”
Start a Heart 24:7 has installed more than 100 defibrillators around Rotherham and was founded by Mrs Lister following the death of her husband Stuart from a heart attack.
Mr Healey said: “At present, only defibrillators purchased by or donated to local authorities and the NHS are exempt from VAT.
“This cost can deter individuals, businesses, and community groups from buying the potentially lifesaving equipment.”