Defibrillators in nurseries: will your public liability insurance be affected?

The subject of defibrillators in schools and nurseries is one that has been gaining momentum over the past few years, with campaigners up and down the country calling for them to be mandatory.

Dot2dot nursery insurance was recently contacted by one of its clients who asked about the insurance implications of installing a defibrillator on their premises, which would be available for use by the wider public.

Defibrillators are more commonly being installed in towns and villages, and as school and nurseries are often considered to be at the heart of communities, it makes sense for them to be hosted in these places. Defibrillators can save lives, but it’s imperative that any nursery planning to introduce them follows the necessary guidelines.

Why have defibrillators in local communities?

Academic research conducted on public access to defibrillation equipment has shown that a person’s chance of survival from a cardiac arrest decreases by 7 – 10% for every minute that a delay occurs. As well as showing that every second really does count, if someone is suffering from a cardiac arrest, it makes a strong case for the placing of defibrillators in and around public places.

Many schools and nurseries are choosing to have a defibrillator installed externally in a location that is still accessible at all times, making it more widely available to the surrounding area. However, it isn’t just a matter of purchasing a defibrillator and installing it in a public place; there are a number of different factors to consider, particularly when it comes to public liability.

What is there to consider from an insurance standpoint?

If local nurseries have installed a defibrillator externally themselves, or have worked with the local council to have one placed, then there will be a number of factors to consider in relation to that nursery’s public liability insurance.

As expert providers of nursery insurance, dot2dot recommends working with the local ambulance service and taking their guidance on defibrillators. This will ensure that the equipment itself is up to standard, that its location is satisfactory and easily accessible, and that it is installed securely. They will also be able to carry out any regular maintenance that is required and conduct battery checks to keep the defibrillator in perfect working order.

Although training is not necessarily required for someone to use a defibrillator as they are now usually fully or semi-automatic, it is advisable that nurseries seek suitable training for their staff  in the event that the defibrillator is used in the course of their role. The ambulance service can help to organise practice sessions and they may also allocate a community response officer.  Information on training is also available from the Resuscitation Council (UK).

From an insurance point of view, and in terms of public liability, many nurseries may find that the ambulance service will take responsibility on behalf of the NHS. However, this is an issue that must be raised with each individual service. No matter who takes responsibility, nurseries must ensure that if a situation occurs, it is dealt with by a responsible individual who takes all necessary action and records every step.

The installation of defibrillators is becoming more widespread, and it could become mandatory across all educational institutions. A number of nurseries across the UK are taking it upon themselves to install defibrillators on their premises, and there are some who may choose to house them in external cabinets for use by the wider community. It’s crucial that the above steps are followed.

For more information on public liability insurance for your nursery, please click here. If you’re thinking of installing defibrillators in nurseries or external cabinets nearby, and you want to know more on how this could impact your insurance, please don’t hesitate to get in touch with a member of the dot2dot team today.