Battery shortage puts Letchworth defibrillator out of action - public wrongly told next nearest is in Baldock

Outside Morrisons in Letchworth

The automated external defibrillator in Morrisons, Letchworth, is out of order due to a battery shortage - Credit: Google Maps

A potentially life-saving automated external defibrillator (AED) in Letchworth's Morrisons is out of order due to a global battery shortage.

But - a sign on the device wrongly directed people 2.5 miles away, to Baldock, for the next nearest one, despite there being another AED just yards from the supermarket.

Shopper Paul Billson said he spotted the error last Wednesday (June 15) and immediately alerted staff, but the mistake wasn't corrected until six days later - the same day the Comet contacted Morrisons.

"This is an appalling lack of duty of care to their customers," Paul said.

The AED - used to revive someone from cardiac arrest - had a sign that said the nearest defibrillator was in Baldock Community Centre, when there is one "on the outside of the new pharmacy about 40 yards away", Paul explained.

A Morrisons spokesperson said: "We are very grateful to the customer for bringing this to our attention and have amended the sign today [June 21]."