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Defibrillators

Question for Department of Health

UIN 221847, tabled on 23 January 2015

To ask the Secretary of State for Health, what assessment his Department has made of the confidence of the general public in using an automated external defibrillator in an emergency.

Answered on

3 February 2015

The Cardiovascular Disease Outcomes Strategy, published by the Department of Health in March 2013, identified the need for improved training of the public in basic resuscitation skills and use of automatic external defibrillators (AEDs). Professor Huon Gray, the National Clinical Director for heart disease in NHS England, has been working with the Resuscitation Council UK (RCUK), the British Heart Foundation (BHF), Public Health England, and Ambulance Services on how to improve local knowledge and information about the locations of AEDs and break down resistance to their use amongst the public out of misguided fear of facing personal or corporate liabilities.

Also, in guidance that the Department for Education has recently issued to schools about children with medical conditions, it has encouraged the teaching of resuscitation skills and purchase of defibrillators. This has been supported by NHS England, the Department of Health, the BHF and RCUK. The guidance can be found at:

https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/supporting-pupils-at-school-with-medical-conditions--3

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