On Friday 10th March, Plymouth Sutton and Devonport MP Oliver Colvile joined Livewell Southwest and South Western Ambulance Service NHS Foundation Trust (SWASFT) to learn about how they are training staff across public sector teams to deliver basic life support and to use life-saving defibrillator equipment.
The morning began with training sessions for staff based at Windsor House in Plymouth, where teams from across Livewell Southwest, Plymouth City Council and NEW Devon CCG took up the opportunity to learn life-saving skills in the event of a cardiac arrest.
Every year, 30,000 people in the UK have a cardiac arrest out of hospital. Roughly 80% of out of hospital cardiac arrests occur in the home; 20% in public places. A cardiac arrest occurs when the heart suddenly stops pumping blood around the body; someone who is having a cardiac arrest will suddenly lose consciousness and stop breathing normally, and every minute that passes without Basic Life Support and defibrillation decreases the person’s chance of survival by 10%.
An AED, also known as an Automated External Defibrillator, is a life-saving device that delivers a shock to the heart. Research shows that giving a controlled shock within five minutes to people in cardiac arrest can give a greater chance of survival. Defibrillation can be performed in an ambulance or at hospital, or by a member of the public at the scene of the cardiac arrest if there is a community defibrillator nearby.
As well as housing an AED at Windsor House’s Reception, from Friday 10th March staff can take the opportunity to learn this important life-saving skill and get hands-on experience to gain confidence in the event of a cardiac arrest.
Steve Waite, Chief Executive at Livewell Southwest said: “As an employer, Livewell Southwest is keen to ensure that all colleagues across the organisation have the knowledge and skills to deliver basic life support in any setting. We have welcomed the opportunity to worlk alongside SWASFT to ensure that the offer of early defibrillation and knowledge of BLS is available at this site as part of the wider community approach to delivering early intervention to people in Cardiac Arrest. We hope that other businesses will consider this partnership approach across the city.”
Oliver Colvile MP commented: "This was a great morning of training and I would support as many of these kind of partnerships across my constituency to take place. I learned an awful lot about first aid, CPR and how to help someone if they are having a cardiac arrest. Everyone at the training morning was really engaged and I would like to thank Steve Waite for inviting me to see the great work that is being done in this area".