THE owners of a defibrillator that was used to help a patient in distress in the centre of Malvern last month have got it back, thanks to the Malvern Gazette.

The defibrillator is stored in a box on the wall of the Coach House Theatre, in Grange Road, and on Saturday, October 21, it was used after a member of the public collapsed in nearby Church Street.

The normal procedure is that the defibrillator used in such an incident is taken away by the ambulance crew, examined and refurbished with a new battery and pads, and returned to its owner.

But nearly three weeks on, the theatre's deputy manager John Denham contacted the Malvern Gazette, worried that it had not returned.

And after the Gazette contacted the West Midlands Ambulance Service, it said that the machine will be returned to the theatres at once, and said it will make sure the problem does not happen again.

Mr Denham said: "We are delighted that it has been used to save a life. We contributed £600 to its cost after a near-fatal incident during a performance at the theatre. It has proved its worth and we are delighted to have it back in case it is needed again."

A West Midlands Ambulance Service spokesman said they were called just before 1pm on Saturday, October 21, after a patient was reported in distress in Church Street.

"On arrival, crews discovered a man in cardiac arrest. CPR was already being carried out by bystanders and they had located and started using a defibrillator.

"Ambulance staff took over CPR and administered advanced life support which continued en route to Worcester Royal Hospital where the patient was handed over to hospital staff.

“Unfortunately, it has taken longer than we would have liked to get the defibrillator back to the Coach House Theatre, which is regrettable.

“Due to this incident, the trust is implementing new arrangements to ensure this situation does not happen again. Each time a defib is activated, an automated message will be sent which will start the process of replacing the pads and battery starts much more quickly."

Richard Vakis-Lowe, founder of HeartStart Malvern, said: "We hope that there was a positive outcome for the patient concerned and our thoughts are with the patient and their family.

"Heartstart Malvern is trying to improve the chance of surviving a cardiac arrest by installing public access defibrillators like the one at the Coach House and providing free training on how to use them.

"We are confident that we will be able to save several lives every year but need help from local fundraising groups and businesses to help achieve our aim of installing 50 defibrillators in Malvern."

The group can be contacted at