Last week, East Dunbartonshire Council committed to training all secondary pupils in lifesaving CPR; it is the 14th local authority in Scotland to do so. In addition, the British Heart Foundation Scotland is offering to equip every local authority school with a free CPR training kit. Will the minister join me in encouraging all remaining councils to offer such training?
Yes, I will. It is really encouraging that local authorities have committed to CPR training for their secondary school pupils. I appreciate the contribution that communities and schools are making by purchasing defibrillators. They are taking a huge step towards creating a country of lifesavers, and they are contributing to Scotland’s out of hospital cardiac arrest strategy. We welcome the efforts of all our partners in helping to introduce CPR to everyone, particularly our young people. The British Heart Foundation is doing a great job in supporting schools by providing its call push rescue kits and heartstart training programme.
We encourage the roll-out of public access defibrillators across Scotland. The point that the member makes about the need to know where they are is important.
Prompt access to defibrillators is vital, so part of our strategy involves the Scottish Ambulance Service public access defibrillators register. The register allows defibrillators to be mapped, maintained and kept accessible to the public, and it enables ambulance service call handlers to direct a caller at the location of a cardiac arrest to any public access defibrillators that might be near. However, it is critical that members of the public, communities, businesses and other partners who are responsible for public access defibrillators register those details, and I encourage people to do so.