MSP working with charity to introduce CPR training into Fife's secondary schools

Alexander Stewart MSP is to work with the British Heart Foundation (BHF) to bring forward proposals to introduce CPR training within secondary schools in Fife.

The Scottish Conservative spokesman and Shadow Minister for Local Government is also the Co-Convener of the Scottish Parliament’s Cross-Party Group on Heart Disease & Stroke and is keen to do everything he can to work with the charity in their bid to improve cardiac arrest survival rates by supporting the roll-out of sessions in Scottish schools.

Mr Stewart said: “The British Heart Foundation has made a very compelling case and the benefits of teaching CPR in Fife’s schools are clear.

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“I am pleased to be working closely with the foundation to take the steps that have been identified.

“We understand that British Heart Foundation’s representatives have spoken with Fife Council but regrettably still haven’t received any form of commitment from councillors.

“We need to ensure that a commitment is in place for when the schools go back after the summer holidays and I will be keen to maintain pressure on the council until we receive some kind of reply.

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“At present only one in 20 people survive an out of hospital cardiac arrest in Scotland but in Denmark for example; after the introduction of compulsory CPR training in schools, that statistic improved to one in four.”

Mr Stewart continued: “To this end, I will be keeping the pressure on Fife Council to ensure that some sort of a concrete decision is finalised at the earliest opportunity.

“We want to create a Nation of Lifesavers in Scotland, and training all of our secondary pupils in CPR gives us the best chance of helping people in Scotland survive an Out of Hospital Cardiac Arrest.”

Daniel Jones, Policy and public affairs officer for BHF Scotland, said: “We are encouraging Local Authorities across Scotland to commit to introducing CPR for all secondary pupils.

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“Currently, only 1 in 20 people in Scotland will survive an Out of Hospital Cardiac Arrest, and we want to give people across the country the best chance of surviving. International evidence shows that bringing in CPR training for all secondary pupils works.

“For example, after Denmark legislated to make it compulsory for all secondary schools to teach CPR, the number of people surviving an Out of Hospital Cardiac Arrest in Denmark tripled to 1 in 4 following the introduction of this legislation.”