Bob Walter MP (North Dorset) is backing the British Heart Foundation ‘Nation of Lifesavers’ campaign and calling on secondary schools and community groups in his North Dorset constituency to order their free ‘Call Push Rescue’ Training Kit.
More than 30,000 people suffer an out-of-hospital cardiac arrest in the UK every year – 80% of which occur in the home, often in front of family members and loved ones. But fewer than one in ten people survive, partly because not enough people have the skills and confidence to perform cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR).
So Bob is raising awareness of the BHF ‘Nation of Lifesavers’ initiative because the charity believes it could save around 5,000 additional lives a year in the UK, based on survival rates in countries like Norway
(25%), where CPR training is mandatory in schools.
The BHF is calling for CPR and public access defibrillator (PAD) awareness to be taught in all secondary schools and a recent survey showed 82% of people would be behind this move. Since the campaign started more than 5,000 people have already signed the petition to make these skills part of the curriculum.
Bob was joined at the Parliamentary launch by Samantha Hobbs, who at 14 helped to save her Mum’s life by performing CPR. With her Dad, they kept her Mum alive until the emergency services arrived and could get her heart beating again with a single electric shock from a defibrillator.
Samantha had been trained in CPR so she knew what to do. Now she too is campaigning to raise awareness amongst others so that more people are trained and more lives can be saved.
On October 16, the BHF trained nearly 12,000 schoolchildren at the launch of a new CPR training programme which is free for schools to register for. The innovative training programme enables schools, workplaces, and community groups to become completely self-sufficient in teaching the three simple steps that could save a life: Call. Push. Rescue.
Bob Walter MP said: “The non-statutory framework for PSHE in education does provide a context for teaching young people about emergency lifesaving skills, and I welcome Government efforts to make it easier for schools to purchase and install potentially life-saving defibrillators as part of their first aid equipment.
“However, cardiac arrest survival rates in the UK do currently fall behind those in other countries where CPR training is part of the curriculum. I’m backing the BHF ‘Nation of Lifesavers’ campaign because I want to see every child in the UK finish school equipped with the necessary skills to respond in a medical emergency.
“CPR is an important skill and just 30 minutes of training could save someone’s life, so I would encourage all secondary schools and community groups in North Dorset to order the free BHF ‘Call Push Rescue’ Training Kits on offer.”
Samantha said: “I was only able to help save my Mum’s life because I’d been trained in CPR. I don’t know what might have happened if I hadn’t. We’re really pleased to be able to support the BHF’s Nation of Lifesavers campaign and spread the message about the importance of CPR. I hope more lives are saved.”
Simon Gillespie, BHF Chief Executive said: “Too many lives are lost needlessly because people don’t have the basic CPR skills to act in life-threatening situations.
“We’re determined to radically improve the country’s shocking survival rates and mandatory training in secondary schools will go a long way towards that.
“We need every school, workplace, community group and individual to join the Nation of Lifesavers and help make the UK a safer place to live.”
For more information visit www.bhf.org.uk/lifesavers
Bob Walter MP with campaigner Samantha Hobbs and family taken at the House of Commons on Wednesday 22 October