Time for First Aid education to be compulsory

Liz_McInnes_MP_Letter_to_the_PM_crop.jpg

Liz McInnes MP has written to the Prime Minister to ask the government to think again about making first aid education compulsory in schools.

Liz wrote to the Prime Minister last Friday in the wake of the terrorist attack on parliament which saw many members of the public including the MP Tobias Ellwood rush to help those injured.

Evidence from the British Red Cross suggests that if just CPR was taught in secondary schools around 5000 lives a year could be saved.

Liz McInnes MP says: ‘Alongside our superb emergency services, the response of those members of the public who ran to help the injured in London last Wednesday was inspiring and they deserve our deep thanks and admiration. It brought home to me the importance of basic first aid training and the difference it can make in emergency situations.

First aid knowledge can make a difference every day, not just in response to incredibly rare events like last Wednesday. Evidence from the British Red Cross shows that up to 59% of prehospital deaths from injury could have been prevented with basic first aid, and of the more than 30,000 out-of-hospital cardiac arrests in the UK every year less than 1 in 10 people survive. If we could match survival rates found in parts of Norway where CPR is routinely taught in secondary schools, we could save an additional 5,000 lives per year.

Campaigners are asking for just one hour a year to be given to first aid education. Last Thursday I asked the Leader of the House if we might revisit the debate but sadly he rejected the idea out of hand, so on Friday I wrote to the Prime Minister to ask her to consider the evidence. It is surely time for the government to think again.’

 

Full text of Liz’s letter to the Prime Minister:

Dear Prime Minister,

Emergency First Aid education in schools

As I am sure you agree, the response of our emergency services and others such as Tobias Ellwood to this week’s appalling and cowardly attack in Westminster was superb, and all those who tended to the injured deserve our deep thanks and admiration.

It is surely the case that the more members of the public who are trained in basic first aid the better. As you yourself said yesterday in parliament in response to praise for Mr Ellwood, ‘The vast majority of Members of the House would probably not have had the skills that would have enabled them to act in that way, and it is a very good message that perhaps more of us should go out and acquire those skills’.

Sadly, it is more than likely to be a matter of when not if further terrorist attacks occur, but while we may not be able to prevent every such attack in future we can make decisions now which will help us respond to such atrocities in the best way possible.

Of course it is not just in response to sudden terrorism that first aid training can help. Evidence from the British Red Cross shows that up to 59% of prehospital deaths from injury could have been prevented with basic first aid, and of the more than 30,000 out-of-hospital cardiac arrests in the UK every year less than 1 in 10 people survive. If we could match survival rates found in parts of Norway where CPR is routinely taught in secondary schools, we could save an additional 5,000 lives per year.

As you may be aware, in 2015 my colleague Teresa Pearce MP introduced a Private Members’ Bill to make first aid training a part of the national curriculum. Unfortunately the Bill was unsuccessful.

Yesterday I asked the Leader of the House if we might revisit the debate but sadly he rejected the idea out of hand. However, given the events of this week and the huge amount of evidence about the life-saving impact of compulsory first aid education, it is surely now time to think again.

I look forward to hearing from you.

 

Do you like this post?

The Labour Party will place cookies on your computer to help us make this website better.

Please read this to review the updates about which cookies we use and what information we collect on our site.

To find out more about these cookies, see our privacy notice. Use of this site confirms your acceptance of these cookies.