A SCHEME is ensuring that no one is more than four minutes away from life-saving equipment in the event of a sudden cardiac arrest.

CLS care homes in Leigh and Tyldesley have been equipped with automated external defibrillators (AEDs) that give the heart an electric shock to try and restore a normal heartbeat.

North West Ambulance Service NHS Trust (NWAS) installed the machines and provided training to the homes' care teams in basic life support and how to use the equipment.

Robert Sharples, community support officer for the NWAS, said: “In the event of a heart attack, speed is of the essence. The ambulance service will always be the first port of call but having the back-up of other trained care professionals can literally mean the difference between life and death.”

The scheme is run by the Department of Health, The British Heart Foundation and The Big Lottery Fund.