Public Access Defibrillators

Scotland is committed to improving the response to, and survival rates after, out-of-hospital cardiac arrest and you can play a vital role in helping save lives in your local community. To help someone who is in cardiac arrest effectively, a defibrillator needs to be found as quickly as possible.

A range of organisations, businesses, groups and communities across Scotland have already installed a defibrillator. Many make them publicly available and to the emergency services. Such Public Access Defibrillators (PADs) are key to strengthening community readiness to respond to a cardiac arrest.

This page aims to outline key things that individuals and community groups should consider when purchasing and installing a Public Access Defibrillator (PAD) on a council owned building:

Purchasing and funding

You will need to purchase the PAD first. The British Heart Foundation makes funding available periodically in Scotland to support the part-funding of PADs for local communities.

The Scottish Ambulance Service (SAS) have details of some device providers and work with some organisations that may offer funding to contribute towards buying a PAD. Through the SAS, it may be possible to buy a PAD at a discounted price, subject to the device's registration on SAS' system.


PADs can't be installed on residential buildings, listed buildings or within conservation areas.

You will need to find a suitable location to install the PAD, the Scottish Ambulance Service regional team can provide advice. Once a possible location is identified, please remember to check if you need a planning permission.

To install the PAD you will need to get in touch with the owner of the building. If it is a council owned building, contact your local Area Office to let us know where you would like the PAD to be installed. Assuming there are no issues identified, your area office will organise for a clerk of works to install it for you. There will be a charge for this. The cost will be around £250 but will vary at each site depending on the distance from electrical supply and other site specific issues.  

You will also be asked to sign a minute of agreement (PDF 157KB) which must be renewed every 3 years. This shows what you as the community group are responsible for and what the council is responsible for.