PRESS RELEASE
For immediate publication
Thursday 6th August 2015

ALEX SALMOND AND CHRISTIAN ALLARD CALL FOR SCHOOLS TO START TEACHING CPR

Alex Salmond MP (Gordon) MSP (Aberdeenshire East) and Christian Allard MSP (North East Scotland) have called upon schools in Aberdeenshire East to start teaching their pupils basic cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) methods.

This comes after the British Heart Foundation (BHF) published findings earlier in the year that 22,000 people in the UK die every year following cardiac arrests. In 2014, the Scottish Ambulance Service responded to approximately 150 cardiac arrests per week. However, just one in 20 Scots survives an out-of-hospital cardiac arrest.

The BHF has promoted CPR training in schools since 1996 through their Heartstart programme and last year they launched the new Call Push Rescue – an innovative scheme that provides simple, interactive training kits that teach proper CPR methods and techniques in less than 30 minutes. These kits are available to any secondary school that applies for one.

77 per cent of schools in Scotland receive CPR training either through Heartstart or Call Push Rescue. Mr Salmond and Mr Allard have written to five schools (Ellon Academy, Inverurie Academy, Mintlaw Academy, Meldrum Academy and Turriff Academy) in Aberdeenshire East encouraging them to apply for the free kits.

Commenting, Alex Salmond said:

“Far too many people in Scotland are not confident enough in performing basic life-saving techniques. In fact, figures show that three quarters of the Scottish public would not feel comfortable performing CPR on a loved one.

“Teaching these essential skills to pupils at an early age would ensure our younger generation know exactly what to do in case of an emergency and could potentially save lives. Even if just one life is saved through this training, then it will have been worth it.

“Christian Allard and I have written to five secondary schools in my constituency encouraging them to apply for the Call Push Rescue scheme, if they haven’t already, and start teaching their pupils how to save a life.

Christian Allard has submitted a motion to the Scottish Parliament, calling on Member’s to recognise the “essential work” of the British Heart Foundation, and to encourage secondary schools to sign up to this incentive.

Christian Allard added:

“Setting our young people up to deal with these situations is not only vital, but will prove to be potentially life-saving. This year, the Scottish Government has reported a 41% drop in mortality rates for heart disease since 2004. Despite this fantastic progress, heart disease remains a very real danger for many Scots.

“This incentive, from the British Heart Foundation, furthers the development of basic skills for our young people. A school career for a pupil is a chance to prepare for life. I, therefore, commend this programme and encourage all secondary schools to sign up to it.”

ENDS

Notes to the Editor:

Heart disease in Scotland figures: http://news.scotland.gov.uk/News/Heart-disease-and-stroke-1514.aspx

Parliamentary motion:

Motion Number: S4M-13898
Lodged By: Christian Allard
Date Lodged: 06/08/2015

Title: British Heart Foundation, CPR Training

Motion Text:

That the Parliament recognises what it sees as the essential work of the British Heart Foundation (BHF) throughout Scotland; notes that the BHF provides free, interactive cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) training kits to all secondary schools that apply for them; acknowledges what it considers the indispensable value of this knowledge and skills base, often doubling a person's chance of survival after a cardiac arrest when applied appropriately; considers problematic the BHF’s finding that 76% of people in Scotland are not confident in the use of CPR, and encourages all secondary schools to focus on equipping young people to provide such vital first aid.