Government blocks First Aid Bill that could save thousands of lives each year

20 November 2015        

Children learning how to do CPR We are disappointed that the Government failed to back a Private Members’ Bill today to ensure all young people are given the opportunity to learn first aid, including CPR, in secondary schools, despite mass public support.

More than 14,000 people have written to their local MP over the past two months, urging them to support the Every Child a Lifesaver campaign that we led with the British Red Cross and St John Ambulance, in support of MP Teresa Pearce’s Bill.

But despite swathes of public support the Bill, which went to its first vote in Parliament today, was talked out by Government backbenchers, meaning it has little chance of becoming law. Approximately 40 MPs turned up to allow the Bill to pass through to the next parliamentary stage.

Mike Hobday, our Director of Policy, said: “Every year there are 30,000 out of hospital cardiac arrests in the UK and currently less than one in ten people survive. In countries where CPR is taught in schools, survival rates are up to three times as high.

“These figures speak for themselves and if we are to improve this country’s frankly embarrassing survival rates we need to ensure that every child is equipped with these essential skills at secondary school.”

Despite this outcome we will continue our fight to ensure that all young people are taught CPR in secondary schools. You can get more information on how you can join our Nation of Lifesavers campaign here.