Life-saving Skills in Schools

Part of Bills Presented – in the House of Commons at 1:32 pm on 22nd November 2012.

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Photo of Anne Marie Morris Anne Marie Morris Conservative, Newton Abbot 1:32 pm, 22nd November 2012

That courses are available and recommended is key, but I will come to compulsion later. My hon. Friend is right that the number of children who have access to training is relatively small, but all credit to the British Heart Foundation, which started its Heartstart programme in 1996. We now have courses in life-saving skills in 400 of our secondary schools. The problem is that it has taken 16 years to cover only 10% of secondary schools, so it will take an awfully long time to get to 100%.

The position in Europe is much better. Eighty per cent. of residents of Scandinavia and Germany have first aid skills because they learned them in schools and elsewhere. The survival rate from a shockable cardiac arrest in Norway is 52%, whereas our survival rate is between 2% and 12%. Compulsory training is common in Europe—Norway, Denmark and France are good examples. Across the pond, 36 US states have legislation requiring the training. The cardiac arrest survival rate in Seattle is twice what the survival rate is in the UK, and 50% of the population is trained.