Plans for defibrillator inside the Guildhall

The Guildhall in Worcester

The Guildhall in Worcester

First published in News Worcester News: Tom Edwards by , Political Reporter

A LIFE-SAVING defibrillator could be placed inside Worcester Guildhall after the tragic death of a Worcestershire councillor.

The city council's Tory leadership is intending to place one of the devices inside the historic building, saying it can make the difference "between life and death".

It follows the passing of Malvern councillor Chris Cheeseman, who collapsed in a planning meeting at the start of June.

Cllr Cheeseman, who was 73, was pronounced dead immediately following his arrival at the Royal Worcestershire Hospital, despite the efforts of fellow Malvern politicians to save his life.

Councillor Lucy Hodgson, who sits in the city council's Conservative cabinet, now says after his death she is determined to get a defibrillator inside the Guildhall.

The plan is that it would be available for anyone to use, including High Street shops and passers-by.

Cllr Hodgson said: "This was brought home to me a couple of weeks ago when a dear colleague at Malvern Hills District Council collapsed and died at a planning meeting.

"They had to go to the (Malvern Splash) swimming pool to get a defibrillator but it was too late to save him.

"It got me asking the question of what we've got here. We've got defibrillators in leisure centres, but that's it.

"But the costs of them are coming down and they are becoming more and more easy to use."

She said as the Guildhall is a central location, the likes of Worcester Business Improvement District (BID), which represents traders, could also use it.

"Two or three minutes on a defibrillator can make the difference about whether someone lives or dies," she said.

She said she would do everything she could get one installed inside the building "as soon as possible".

The devices are becoming more widespread as the costs come down, and can be found for as little as £1,000.

When someone goes into cardiac arrest, every minute without using the device reduces their chances of survival by 10 per cent, according to the British Heart Foundation.

The machine delivers an electric shock to the heart.

Before becoming a councillor, Mr Cheeseman ran a guest house and restaurant with his wife at their home, Mellbreaks, in Malvern Wells.

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