Glasgow City Council’s promise to equip all of its secondary school pupils with CPR skills has been hailed as a pioneering and life-saving move by British Heart Foundation (BHF) Scotland.
Glasgow is the first local authority in Scotland to work with BHF Scotland on a solid plan to ensure that every secondary pupil receives CPR training at an appropriate stage in the curriculum, and to work with head teachers and education officials to make this happen.
The promise comes after discussions between the nation’s heart charity and council leaders over putting in place a systematic and sustainable model of CPR training in schools. And it follows a media partnership between BHF Scotland and the city’s Evening Times newspaper to raise awareness of the city’s poor survival rate from cardiac arrest outside of hospital and the imperative for all to have the skills that could save a life.
David McColgan, Senior Policy and Public Affairs Manager at BHF Scotland, explained: “We’ve chosen to work closely with Glasgow City Council on the need for CPR training in schools because, sadly, cardiac arrests are far more likely to happen in the city than anywhere else in the country.
“Around 47% of Glasgow’s population lives in our country’s most deprived areas and people are twice as likely to have a cardiac arrest than someone in the least deprived areas. However, they are least likely to get CPR from a bystander.
“There is clear evidence from other countries, such as Denmark, that where you have a young, mobile, population trained in CPR, the survival rates will go up.”
James Cant, Director at BHF Scotland, said: “Glasgow is a pioneering city when it comes to its citizens’ heart health. The BHF is funding world-class scientists at our Centre of Research Excellence at the University of Glasgow and many schools have adopted our Heartstart and Call Push Rescue CPR learning programmes over the years. Today’s announcement further cements that commitment to ensure that every child across Glasgow is equipped with the skills to save a life.
“Glasgow has the potential to create around 4,500 lifesavers a year by training one year group every school year. However if every local authority in Scotland made the same commitment that figure would be in the region of 50,000.
“BHF Scotland was influential in advocating for a national strategy to improve survival rates from out of hospital cardiac arrest in Scotland. The Save a Life for Scotland strategy was launched in 2015 and is due to complete in 2020. This announcement from Glasgow City Council will create a lasting legacy from that work and I hope that other Scottish local authorities will follow Glasgow’s lead. We’re ready to help them to save more lives.”
The BHF’s Call Push Rescue CPR training kit is free for eligible secondary schools across the UK.
Learn more about CPR and how to apply for a kit