MP for North East Hertfordshire, Sir Oliver Heald, is welcoming news that the British Heart Foundation and the Department of Health are launching a £1 million partnership to make public access defibrillators (PADs) and CPR training more widely available across England in order to create a “Nation of Lifesavers”. This is an issue that he has been campaigning on (http://www.oliverheald.com/news/sir-oliver-heald-mp-supports-cpr-traini… , http://www.oliverheald.com/news/sir-oliver-heald-mp-supports-teaching-c…) and is glad to see big progress being made.
Nearly 30,000 people suffer a cardiac arrest out of hospital each year, with fewer than one in ten surviving. For every minute without defibrillation, chances of survival decrease by around 10%. However, a bystander giving immediate CPR and defibrillation can potentially double chances of survival in some cases.
Currently only 38% of the public are aware they can use PADs in an emergency, and only 22% say they would be confident to do so. Through equipping more people with the skills to save a life it is hoped that UK survival rates will match those in countries such as Norway, where CPR and defibrillator awareness is more widely taught, which would save nearly 5,000 additional lives each year.
The BHF will be accepting applications for PADs and CPR training kits from organisations such as charities, community groups and social enterprises, and I encourage people and organisations across North East Hertfordshire to take advantage of this opportunity. The full criteria for applicants is available online at www.bhf.org.uk.
Commenting, Sir Oliver said, "The benefits of having a population trained in CPR are obvious, and I am glad to see that the Government is working with the BHF to see more of this."