ASDA plans to introduce life-saving defibrillators into every one of its supermarkets in the country.

The move has been welcomed by Bolton West MP Julie Hilling, who has been campaigning with The Bolton News to promote the teaching of emergency life saving skills in schools and for defibrillators to be placed in as many public places as possible.

An agreement between the British Heart Foundation (BHF) and the retailer will see defibrillators in all 609 of its stores, warehouses and offices by the end of the year.

Staff will also be trained in life-saving CPR in a bid to significantly increase survival rates for people suffering a cardiac arrest out of hospital — which is currently about 10 per cent.

Ms Hilling, who last year joined forces with The Bolton News as part of the Every School Leaver a Life Saver campaign which aims to promote the teaching of emergency life saving skills in schools, described Asda’s move as “absolutely fantastic.”

She said: “It is wonderful that Asda is making this move — it is essential that people know what to do when someone collapses and have the equipment they need as well — ultimately this could save up to thousands of lives per year and Asda has made a brilliant contribution to this.”

A defibrillator can be used by any member of the public to deliver an electric shock to the heart when someone is having a cardiac arrest.

Ms Hilling was inspired to start her campaign after former Bolton Wanderers footballer Fabrice Muamba collapsed on the pitch during an FA Cup match at Spurs and was resuscitated by medical staff after his heart stopped beating.

Dawn Clements, Asda’s head of community, said: “We’re really proud of our investment of more than £500,000 in providing life-saving defibrillators for all of the communities we operate in.

“The commitment we’re making could significantly cut the amount of time a cardiac arrest sufferer has to wait for life-saving CPR and defibrillation, giving them the best possible chance of survival.”