Public Access Defibrillator Scheme

Public Access Defibrillator Scheme (PADS)

Search for defibrillators across Wales here.

The Welsh Ambulance Services NHS Trust (WAST) works in partnership with other organisations including the Welsh Government, British Heart Foundation, Cariad, Welsh Hearts and Achub Calon Y Dyffryn to provide equipment and training under the Public Access Defibrillator Scheme (PADS).

There are 36 Welsh Government funded PAD sites and over 3500 self funded or charity funded sites currently in Wales.

The Welsh Ambulance Service facilitates familiarisation courses in basic life support and use of the defibrillator.

The defibrillators are now accessible in locations such as railway stations, leisure centres, shopping centres, many village communities and even on the top of Snowdon.

National PADS Officer Gerard Rothwell, based at Welsh Blood Service Pontyclun oversees the development of existing and new schemes across the country along with his colleague PADS Support Officer Tomos Hughes, based in North Wales.

If you require any information regarding PADS please contact Gerard Rothwell on 07734716766.

What is PADS?
A Public Access Defibrillation Scheme is any location that has an Automated External Defibrillator (AED) available for use by members of the public and/or staff in the event of a Sudden Cardiac Arrest (SCA).


Why do we need PAD schemes?
The Government’s White Paper entitled ‘Saving Lives – Our Healthier Nation’ focused on having people trained in public places that could use a defibrillator.

There are around 120,000 victims of out of hospital sudden cardiac arrests annually in the UK with around 8,000 in Wales.

What is Sudden Cardiac Arrest?
A cardiac arrest occurs when the heart stops beating effectively and normal breathing ceases. This results in the casualty becoming unresponsive and urgent intervention is required. The chances of survival are greatly increased when an AED is applied.

What is an AED?
Automated External Defibrillators are devices that can deliver an electric shock to a casualty in a cardiac arrest. These devices are simple and safe to use. Training is recommended but is not essential.

Take a look at our training video here.

Where are AEDs located?
AEDs have been placed at locations across Wales usually where there are large visitor numbers and busy areas. The Welsh Ambulance Service has concentrated on locations such as airports, shopping centres, railway stations, leisure centres and ferry ports. There are many other AED locations that have been provided by other organisations and communities across Wales and new schemes continue to be developed.

Find Defibrillator locations across Wales here Defib Locations search.

Where can I get an AED from?
In the main there are two options:

Option 1: Purchase an AED from the manufacturer or a commercial supplier (see types and recommendations).

Option 2: Apply for part-funding towards the cost of an AED through charities.
Some of these are listed as follows:

British Heart Foundation (UK) - 
My Cariad (Wales) -
Welsh Hearts (Wales) –
Achub Calon Y Dyffryn (Wales) -
SADS UK (England) -
Heartbeat UK (England) -
Community Heartbeat Trust (England) -

How much?
AED costs vary but most units can be purchased within a range of £800 to £1200.

The Welsh Ambulance Service recommend the Zoll AED Plus defibrillator, and the WelMedical iPad SP1 defibrillator. These AED’s are recommended by the British Heart Foundation and are increasingly found at many locations in Wales, such as schools, shopping centres, GP surgeries, leisure centres etc. Please see links below for more information.

Zoll Medical Corporation

Wel Medical Limited -

St John Cymru Wales

The responsibility for the AED usually lies with the purchaser and/or receiver of the unit. These include:

  • Daily checks (recommended) of unit status indicator (showing that the AED is in an operable state).
  • Ensuring electrode pads are in date and therefore suitable for use (typically 2 - 5 years shelf life). Electrode pads for the Zoll AED Plus are provided free of cost by WAST
  • Replacement of battery or batteries when they are discharged (typically 4 – 5 years). Batteries for the Zoll AED Plus are provided free of cost by WAST.
  • Notifying WAST when the AED has been used (as soon as possible following an incident).
  • Although WAST are not responsible for the AED, we are available for advice and support.

Notifying WAST
When an AED is sited at a location, we need to have this information to notify our Clinical Contact Centres and the PADs Department. You can register an AED location by clicking here or by contacting Gerard Rothwell on 07734716766 or emailing: or We also need to be informed if the AED has been deployed.

Ongoing costs
Ongoing costs are usually the replacement of electrode pads and batteries. Sometimes a fault may develop within the unit and a “service required” may be indicated. This may incur a cost if the unit is out of warranty. If the unit is a Zoll AED Plus, WAST will supply the electrode pads and batteries free of cost.

Warranty periods
Manufacturer’s warranty period (for Zoll) is 5 years but can be extended to 7 years when the unit is registered with the manufacturer. If the AED develops a fault in the warranty period, the manufacturer will respond accordingly.

Can a person be sued for using an AED or what if I do something wrong? These are common questions. In the UK there have been no successful prosecutions of a person who has tried to help another person. An AED can only improve a situation when a sudden cardiac arrest has occurred.

For more information, please visit:

AEDs are designed to be used by anyone whether they have received training or not. Nobody should be prevented from accessing an AED at any time. Training is not a requirement, however those who have received training should be more confident to deploy the unit. WAST offer defibrillator familiarisation courses for which there is no cost. Contact Gerard Rothwell on 07734716766.

Various cabinets are available for storing an AED. As a basic guide there are three options:

1) A simple wall bracket or sleeve, or hooks (which can be purchased for little cost from a DIY store) which provide a support for the AED suitable for an internal location, such as a room or supervised reception area.


Example of a wall bracket.

Product shown: Zoll Part No: 8000-0809




Product shown: Bracket, Wall Mounting, for iPAD SP1 AED (single)



2) Internal wall-mounted cabinet. These usually have a door-opening alarm to alert those nearby the unit has been accessed. They are suitable for locations that do not usually have very low temperatures and/or are exposed to wind chill conditions.

Example of a wall-mounted internal cabinet
Product shown: Zoll Part No: 8000-0855




Product shown: WelMedical Indoor Wall Mounted Cabinet for the iPAD SP1





3) External wall-mounted heated cabinet. These have a heating element which activates when temperatures are low. They require an electricity supply and must be installed according to the manufacturer’s recommendations.


Example of External Heated Cabinet with alarm.
Product shown: Aivia 2A210XX101



   Product shown: DefibSafe External Heated Cabinet with Alarm




Product shown: SADS UK External Heated Cabinet with Alarm






For up to date prices and more information, please contact the manufacturers and/or distributors.

Please note: WAST does not recommend using a locked cabinet, which is also the recommendation stated by the BHF and Resuscitation Council UK.

Contact - post cardiac arrest
Please contact the PADS Officer, Gerard Rothwell on 07734716766 or Tomos Hughes 07976766872 (North Wales) if an AED has been used, or for any further advice.

Email: or

If you would like to share your experience of using an AED or have had an AED used on you. Please get in touch and share your story with us.