MPs from across the UK, including Anne-Marie Trevelyan, have been given a hands-on first-aid lesson in Westminster, as public support grows for the teaching of lifesaving skills to be made compulsory in schools.
The parliamentary reception, held last Tuesday, gave MPs the opportunity to learn cardiopulmonary resuscitation and how to treat choking, burns and bleeding.
The event is part of the Every Child a Lifesaver campaign – an initiative launched by St John Ambulance, the British Heart Foundation and the British Red Cross to gain backing for the Emergency First Aid Education Bill. The Bill will have its second reading in Parliament on November 20 and hundreds of members of the public across the North East have been contacting their MPs asking them to support the Bill and attend the vote.
Berwick MP Anne-Marie Trevelyan said: “I am keen to drive forwards the excellent campaigning efforts led by St John Ambulance to get first aid into all schools, a campaign I have actively supported for some time. I am holding meetings with education and health ministers on this to see how we might best progress discussions and policy development in the months ahead.
“Not only does understanding first-aid rules help in emergency situations, it gives young people confidence to tackle the unexpected and be prepared and less afraid of crisis situations.
“I also believe that many visits to A&E - which doctors tell me really do not need expensive medical interventions - would be avoided because young people would be able to deal with and support their families and friends to deal with first-aid situations. This excellent campaign can save lives, empower our young people and make NHS resources go further for those emergencies for which medical professionals are needed."
The Bill, tabled by Teresa Pearce MP, will require secondary schools to give young people the skills and confidence to deal with a range of medical emergencies including cardiac arrests, heart attacks, choking, bleeding, asthma attacks and seizures. Importantly, emergency first-aid education ensures that pupils know to seek help and support when needed, including from the emergency services. The Bill also recognises the emotional needs of people that step in to help in a medical emergency, preparing young people to deal with situations where their interventions may not have saved a life.