Leading health campaigners including the Royal College of Paediatrics and Child Health as well as the British Medical Association are joined by Steven Gerrard in a letter urging the Prime Minister David Cameron to support legislation that will ensure the provision of Automatic External Defibrillators (AED) in the community.

A government e-petition started by the Oliver King Foundation, named in memory of a 12-year-old boy who tragically died from a sudden cardiac arrest while swimming at school has gathered more than 100,000 signatures. An approach will be made today to the back-bench business committee to discuss the merits of having a House of Commons debate, calling for ALL public places including schools, leisure centres and football stadia to have an AED installed.

The letter,  co-ordinated by Liverpool FC first team doctor Zafar Iqbal and London Cardiologist Dr Aseem Malhotra states “ as a group of charities, health campaigners and leading professionals from the fields of medicine and sport we believe the measure would save thousands of lives.”

Hand on Heart has been supporting the campaign from the very beginning, urging the Government to recognise the importance of AEDs.

Estimates reveal that approximately 12-16 young people die each week and approximately 30,000 people sustain a cardiac arrest outside hospital, treated by Emergency Medical services every year. Of course these deaths are multi-factorial in their nature, but the single most influential factor in improving survival among this group is treatment with an early life-saving defibrillation shock from an AED.


The full list of signatories:

Mark King (Founder of The Oliver King Foundation)

Steven Gerrard (Liverpool FC and England Mens Football Captain)

Dr Zafar Iqbal (Head of Medical Services Liverpool FC)

Dr Jan Till (Consultant Paediatric Electrophysiologist, Royal Brompton Hospital)

Dr Derrick Todd (Consultant Cardiologist Liverpool heart and Chest Hospital)

Prof Sanjay Sharma (Professor of inherited cardiac diseases and sports cardiology, St Georges Hospital)

Prof John Somauroo (Consultant Cardiologist, Countess of Chester Trust)

Dr Aseem Malhotra (Cardiology Specialist Registrar)

Dr Hilary Cass ( President, Royal College of Paediatrics and Child Health

Dr Kailash Chand OBE ( Deputy Chairman, British Medical Association)

Dr Ian Beasley (Head Medical Services English FA)

North West Ambulance Service NHS Trust

Premier League Drs Group

Sport and Recreation Alliance

Chartered Society of Physiotherapy

Sporting Equals

Cllr Jake Morrison (Liverpool, creator of The Oliver King Foundation e-petition)

Alastair Machray (Editor, The Liverpool Echo)

Dr Mark Haig (Head of LFC Foundation Operations)

Nick Hartshorne-Evans (Chairman and Trustee of Pumping Marvellous)

Marika Latham (Ciarans Cause)

Trudie Lobham MBE (Founder & CEO Arrhythmia Alliance)

David Howarth (Hand on Heart Charity)

Slade Carter (Heart UK)


Other sports stars who have supported and campaigned for the petition include boxers Amir Khan, Ricky Hatton, and David Haye and from the world of football Fabrice Muamba, Michael Owen, Gareth Bale, Aaron Lennon and Kenny Dalglish.