Teresa welcomes the Chancellor’s £1 million investment in defibrillators announced in the Budget this week. However, she is restating her call on the Government to make Cardiopulmonary Resuscitation (CPR) and defibrillator awareness training a mandatory part of the National Curriculum.
This month there was a debate on this subject, which had cross-party support, but sadly Nick Gibb MP, the Minister of State for School Reform, disappointed a packed Westminster Hall by refusing to make CPR and defibrillator awareness training a mandatory part of the National Curriculum.
During the debate, Teresa highlighted the fact that generations of children are being denied the opportunity to develop life-saving skills. She spoke in particular of how the lack of CPR and defibrillator awareness training is preventing suffers of Sudden Arrhythmic Death Syndrome (SADS) from having the best chance of survival. SADS is heart condition that affects people between the ages of 12 and 35, and is reportedly responsible for the deaths of at least 12 young people a week.
“Whilst I welcome the Chancellor’s announcement that £1 million will be set aside to buy defibrillators for public places, including schools, and to support training, this news is undermined by the fact the Government still refuses to make First Aid training a mandatory part of the National Curriculum.
Last week, I participated in a Westminster Hall debate about this subject, and highlighted the fact that it would be hugely beneficial for society as a whole if CPR and defibrillator awareness training is made mandatory in schools. What is clear is that bystanders are still reluctant to get involved, even if defibrillators are available, because they lack confidence. Training at school level would alleviate these concerns.
It is unacceptable in this day and age that people are not being given the support they need to develop skills that could save lives. The Government has recognised the importance of defibrillators and First Aid training with this announcement. They need to stop dragging their heels and take the next logical step by urgently making CPR and defibrillator awareness training a mandatory part of the National Curriculum. We need to make every school leaver a potential life-saver. ”