Posted: Wed 3rd Mar 2021

Lifesaving CPR lessons set to become compulsory in Welsh secondary schools

News and Info from Deeside, Flintshire, North Wales
This article is old - Published: Wednesday, Mar 3rd, 2021

A new curriculum for Welsh secondary schools will see cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) taught following campaigns from North and South Wales politicians.

Last year Education minister Kirsty Williams said CPR would not be incorporated into the new National Curriculum, instead saying: “There’ll be nothing to stop schools teaching CPR.”

A Senedd Member has now secured a commitment from the minister that CPR will now be included in the new curriculum. 

CPR is a life saving medical procedure which is given to someone who is in cardiac arrest.

It helps to pump blood around the person’s body when their heart can’t.

It’s compulsory for pupils in England and Scotland to learn, but not for those in Wales.

Delyn MP Rob Roberts’ launched a campaign with the family of Janene Maguire, who passed away in February 2000 following a cardiac arrest, it gained  support from Prime Minister Boris Johnson last month.

They called for the teaching of CPR and other life-saving skills in all Welsh secondary schools, matching that of Suzy Davies MS who has been campaigning on the issue for 10 years.

Suzy Davies MS, who represents South Wales West, secured the commitment from the Welsh Education Minister in the course of debating amendments to the new Curriculum and Assessment (Wales) Bill, which will see changes to the way Welsh children are educated.

She said: “After 10 years campaigning for this, I was beginning to wonder if it would ever happen.

“From securing cross-party support for this in my early days as an Assembly Member, through several debates and pitches to different Ministers, on to my own proposed legislation which found favour among Senedd Members, it was difficult to understand why Welsh Government was so resistant.

“In this country, our chances of surviving a cardiac arrest outside hospital are as poor as 10%. In countries around the world where teaching CPR and defibrillator use is compulsory, those odds improve dramatically. These skills are quick and easy to learn and easy to remember.

“Alun Davies MS – himself a cardiac arrest survivor – has rightly argued that we should be able to learn these skills at any time in our lives and that defibrillators should be a commonplace feature of our public landscape. I couldn’t agree more – but how simple it is to ingrain these skills from an early age and raise generation after generation of lifesavers.”

The new curriculum is supported by the medical profession, including paramedics and fire service co-responders, as well as charities like St. John’s Cymru and British Heart Foundation.

It is also taught through many youth groups, including Torfaen Sea Cadets who trained Aneurin Metcalfe, a 22-year-old who saved someone’s life in Cardiff this week.

[Photo above shows Suzy Davies MS practising CPR before lockdown and social distancing measures were introduced]

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