Building a business case to buy a defibrillator

A defibrillator on a desk with notepads and a pencil

Building a business case to buy a defibrillator

 If you’re considering buying a defibrillator for your organisation, you may need to create a business case. 

What is the purpose of a business case?

The purpose of a business case is typically to show:  

  • risks  
  • benefits  
  • costs.  

The case usually begins with establishing the ‘why’. In buying a defibrillator, the ‘why’ includes the points just mentioned (risks, benefits, costs) and the health and moral benefits of doing it.  

Some useful statistics to include in your business case are:  

  • In the UK, there are more than 30,000 out-of-hospital cardiac arrests each year.  
  • Less than 1 in 10 people who have an out-of-hospital cardiac arrest in the UK survive.  
  • For every minute without receiving CPR or defibrillation, the chances of survival decrease by up to 10%.  

In short, installing a defibrillator can more than double the chances of saving someone’s life if they’ve had a cardiac arrest.

Who can help you?  

Your case will be stronger if you can gather support from within your organisation. People who can support you include:  

  • procurement – to help with buying the defibrillators  
  • facilities/building manager – typically have a good knowledge of health and safety and where to place a defibrillator for maximum impact  
  • HR personnel – a defibrillator is there to safeguard staff and can boost engagement  
  • finance team – to support you in reviewing the financial information  
  • employees – to show that there’s enthusiasm for getting a defibrillator and help you look after the defibrillators. 

Establishing risk  

Use the data from your risk assessment to strengthen your case.  

Some things you may want to include are:  

  • the size of your workforce  
  • workforce/customer demographics: cardiac arrest is more common among older people and the average age in England is 65. Mention this if it’s relevant to your organisation  
  • any of the statistics on cardiac arrest mentioned on this page.  

Business benefits of buying defibrillators  

Buying defibrillators for your organisation can contribute to your ESG (environmental, social and governance) reporting. Specifically, if you’re making defibrillators publicly available, it can contribute to your social goals.  

A commitment to ESG enhances staff retention. Over half of the respondents in one survey said they would stay longer if their employer had solid ESG commitments.

Buying defibrillators can enhance your brand’s reputation. BHF can support you in telling a story about buying defibrillators. Defibrillators help staff, customers and the community. Buying from us also supports our lifesaving research.  


See How much does it cost?  

If your budget is limited, you may need to present different options as follows:  

  • Option 1: costs for a defibrillator within a 2-minute walk across all sites.  
  • Option 2: costs for a defibrillator on every site in a position where it’s easily visible and accessible.  
  • Option 3: costs to place a defibrillator at priority sites only.  

Both defibrillators and CPR are essential to save a life if someone has a cardiac arrest. Our free RevivR online CPR training can train employees in 15 minutes.