Charities join forces to launch Every Child a Lifesaver campaign

21 September 2015        

Every Child logo

We’ve teamed up with St John Ambulance and the British Red Cross to launch a campaign to make first aid compulsory in all state-funded secondary schools.

Too many people die needlessly where simple first aid could have saved them. There are 30,000 cardiac arrests out of hospital every year but currently, less than one in ten survive. In places where CPR is taught in school, survival rates are up to three times as high. By boosting rates to match those seen in parts of Norway, an additional 5,000 lives could be saved each year - and that’s just by teaching CPR skills.

The Bill

On 20 November, the Emergency First Aid Bill will have its second reading in Parliament. It means all young people would leave school with the skills and confidence to deal with a range of medical emergencies including cardiac arrests, heart attacks, choking, bleeding, asthma attacks, and seizures.

Research has revealed widespread support from the public with 95% of parents and 84% of secondary school teachers agreeing that first aid should be taught at secondary school.

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

“The survival rate for out of hospital cardiac arrests in the UK is shockingly low compared to other countries where CPR is widely taught. Our MPs and Government now have the opportunity to take responsibility for addressing this needless loss of life. By supporting this Bill they can make life saving skills a mandatory part of every young person’s education and help save more lives.”

The campaign was launched in Parliament on 16 September and the charities hope that people will call on their MPs to support the bill’s second reading on 20 November. To learn more about the campaign visit the campaign website and write to your local MP.