Alison Thewliss MP calls for secondary schools in Glasgow Central to teach CPR to students

Alison Thewliss MP is urging secondary schools in Glasgow Central to teach their students CPR, following the British Heart Foundation (BHF) warning that people who have not been trained in CPR are nearly 3 times less likely to perform it.

Alison Thewliss MP met life saving charities BHF, St John Ambulance and British Red Cross in Westminster on Monday 16 October, Restart a Heart Day, to discuss making first aid skills a vital part of the PSHE curriculum.

There are over 30,000 out of hospital cardiac arrests every year in the UK, and devastatingly only 1 in 10 survive. The BHF estimates that 10,000 people die every year as rates of bystander CPR are very low.

Every minute without CPR or defibrillation can reduce a person’s chance of surviving a cardiac arrest by around ten per cent.

Alison Thewliss, MP for Glasgow Central, said:

“It is worrying to hear the number of lives being lost because rates of bystander CPR in the UK are too low. Every second counts, and CPR really is the difference between life and death.”

“All young people should have the skills to save a life. I’m supporting first aid skills on the school curriculum as a vital part of the PSHE curriculum.”

Simon Gillespie, Chief Executive of the British Heart Foundation, said:

“It’s great to have the support of Alison Thewliss MP in incorporating this life saving skill into the secondary school curriculum. The chance of surviving is almost zero if people collapse and receive no bystander CPR until the emergency services arrive.

“There is clearly a huge benefit to the public knowing life saving CPR skills, evidenced by the vastly better survival rates from cardiac arrests in countries where CPR is part of the curriculum. Thousands of deaths could be prevented if more people learn CPR.

I encourage all secondary schools in Glasgow Central to apply for the BHF’s free training kits.”

Mel Fox, Director of Training at St John Ambulance, said:

“Now’s the time for first aid education to be available to all our young people. Learning CPR and other life saving skills should be part of their passage into adulthood and with many free resources available for schools like our Big First Aid Lesson on 3rd November, there is plenty of opportunity for children to become life savers.”

Joe Mulligan, head of first aid education at The British Red Cross said:

“We want all young people to feel confident and willing to help when faced with a first aid emergency. Learning first aid helps to increase confidence levels and we believe it’s a life skill everyone should have.

“Ultimately the British Red Cross would like everyone to have the opportunity to learn first aid throughout their lives, starting at school, so that a generation of people can be equipped with the skills they need to help in an emergency.

“Our free teaching resources and workshops are designed to give young people the skills, confidence and willingness to act in an emergency.”

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