The Member of Parliament for Eastleigh, Mims Davies, has welcomed plans announced by the Secretary of State for Education and fellow Hampshire MP, Damian Hinds, which will see all children taught basic first aid in schools from next year.
The Government plans – which have also been welcomed by the British Heart Foundation - aim to make health education compulsory in all state-funded schools. Under the proposed new guidance, by the end of secondary school pupils will be taught how to administer CPR, the purpose of defibrillators, and basic treatments for common injuries.
Commenting, Eastleigh MP Mims Davies said:
“Having worked with Botley residents Graham and Anne Hunter, as well as charities Cardiac Risk in the Young and Heart UK to highlight the benefits of heart screening and public defibrillators, I really welcome this important step that will literally save lives.
“I have personally had to use CPR skills in an emergency, and so recognise what an upsetting situation it can be for all involved, however, learning skills early on in life as these proposals set out will make a real difference, providing our young people with the confidence to know they can do all they can while awaiting expert help.
“It’s also really important to know where your nearest defibrillator is, whether at your place of work, college or school, and familiarising yourself with it so that should the worst happen you can use it to save a life.”
For every minute without life-saving treatment the chance of surviving a cardiac arrest drops by about 10% – meaning that the time before an ambulance arrives is crucial – but the British Red Cross has found that 95% of adults wouldn’t be able, confident or willing to help in three examples of life-threatening first aid emergencies.
Also commenting, Simon Gillespie, Chief Executive of the British Heart Foundation, said:
“The Department for Education’s plans to introduce CPR on to the curriculum is a decisive moment in the battle to improve cardiac arrest survival rates, following years of campaigning by the BHF and others.
“There are 30,000 out of hospital cardiac arrests every year, and each day people needlessly die because bystanders don’t have the confidence or knowledge to perform CPR and defibrillation. This is why all schoolchildren should be given the opportunity to learn these skills.
“Introducing CPR lessons into health education in all state-funded secondary schools is a significant step that promises to improve the odds of survival for countless people who have a cardiac arrest in the future.”