Cardiopulmonary Resuscitation Skills

– in the Scottish Parliament on 12th December 2018.

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Photo of Rona Mackay Rona Mackay Scottish National Party

6. To ask the Scottish Government what progress it is making with its plan to equip an additional 500,000 people with CPR skills by 2020. (S5O-02674)

Photo of Joe FitzPatrick Joe FitzPatrick Scottish National Party

The Scottish Government is working in partnership with Save a Life for Scotland, which has provided CPR learning for almost 300,000 people since the launch of the out of hospital cardiac arrest strategy in 2015. It is on track to reach the 500,000 target by the end of 2020.

Photo of Rona Mackay Rona Mackay Scottish National Party

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?

Photo of Joe FitzPatrick Joe FitzPatrick Scottish National Party

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.

Photo of Stuart McMillan Stuart McMillan Scottish National Party

What is the Scottish Government doing to increase the number of defibrillators across the country? What is it doing to highlight the need to register defibrillators with the Scottish Ambulance Service?

Photo of Joe FitzPatrick Joe FitzPatrick Scottish National Party

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.