Southern Rail removes scaffolding which blocked life-saving defibrillator following bookshop owner's health fears

The alarm was first raised by Heygates Bookshop owner Jason - who has a heart condition and was worried about what could happen if he needed to use it

Southern Rail have removed scaffolding which was blocking a defibrillator in Bognor Regis station.

It comes after a Bognor bookshop owner with a heart condition raised concerns the lifesaving equipment had been fenced off.

Jason Passingham of Heygates Bookshop lives with a gene mutation which increases the risk of an abnormal heart rhythm and worries that he will be unable to access his nearest defibrillator should he need it, after scaffolding was put up around it to restore the canopy at Bognor station.

He reports "street drinking and other anti-social behaviour", including "youths climbing on it", has now led to the area being shut off completely to the public.  

When first asked about the issue, a spokesperson for Southern Rail said: "" The defibrillator outside of the station is owned by the local council.

It’s currently blocked off by scaffolding owing to works being carried out by Network Rail.

I would suggest getting in touch with the council about this complaint, but just to reiterate in terms of the defibrillator GTR owns, our machine is close by and open to the public.

"It’s located just outside of the supervisor’s office."

They've since confirmed that the "fencing has now been moved so the defib is accessible on site."

Jason added : "My consultant has told me that I have a 1 in 20 chance that my heart could just stop, and as a result, I am now having surgery later this month to have a personal defibrillator implanted into my body.

"But in the meantime, should something happen that causes my heart to stop, my nearest defibrillator would not be available, and would most likely result in a negative outcome."

His concern expands after a man died outside local pub the Dog and Duck when the public were unable to access a nearby defibrillator. 

Jason continued, "I just can’t quite get my head round the fact that the behaviour and actions of what is a very small proportion of the local community, can result in life saving equipment being made inaccessible in those who may need it."


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