As all headteachers and other stakeholders in schools will know, schools have a legal obligation to provide first aid facilities at all times when there are people on the school site. First aiders must have attended first aid training for schools, provided by the Health and Safety Executive. Appointed persons, who do not have to be trained to the same extent as a first aider, must have four hours of emergency first aid training.
For most schools, the buildings will be split across the site, which is something that the governing body must take into account when assessing first aid policy and provision needs in the school. For example, a large school with several buildings will need multiple first aiders as well as multiple appointed persons. This can have a high cost for school budgets when planning the first aid training provision for the year ahead.
Schools will also need to take into account the specific known needs of pupils and staff, and also plan for the potential unknown conditions that can arise due to accident or underlying medical issues. Standard first aid training for schools does not require that staff are taught how to resuscitate children. Whilst no one ever wants to be in a situation where they might have to resuscitate a child, it is far better to know how to succeed at resuscitation than being in a position of panic and helplessness. This is why many schools are choosing to enhance the first aid training they offer as a part of their core professional development and to support their risk assessments and safeguarding policies.
1 child in every 180 will have a congenital heart disease, (British Heart Foundation, 2013) and around 30% of children are obese, putting extra strain on their hearts. With the average secondary school having at least 1000 pupils on roll, it is statistically likely that schools will have a duty of care each year to at least one child, or even several children (and adults) with heart disease, whether they are aware of it or not.
Schools in rural areas may be some distance from the nearest hospital or ambulance station. This can mean that in the case of a child or a member of staff suffering a cardiac arrest, crucial time can be lost between the onset of the cardiac arrest and the patient receiving the necessary care to help them to survive. Survival chances can decrease by as much as 7-10% with every minute that an individual in cardiac arrest does not receive an intervention.
Schools can bid to purchase Automatic External Defibrillators through the NHS Supply Chain, but we are also able to provide this service if schools are unable to obtain one through this channel. Heart Help can provide first aid training for schools to ensure that staff are comfortable and confident in carrying out a defibrillation procedure that could mean that the life of a child is saved. Defibrillating a child in your care can be a highly stressful occasion, but with the right training, staff can carry out the procedure safely to give the patient the best possible chance of survival in a life-threatening situation.
A 3 to 4-hour course only costs £290 of a group of eight people.
Contact us by telephone on 07900 087701 or using the contact form.