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NORTH Swindon MP Justin Tomlinson recently spoke in Parliament to call for emergency life saving (ELS) skills to be taught in schools.

Mr Tomlinson said 60,000 people have a cardiac arrest outside of hospital for which only between two and 12 per cent survive, but in countries like Norway where there is compulsory ELS in schools, the survival rate is as high as 52 per cent.

He told the Commons: “The debate is essential, because we are talking about creating the next generation of life-savers.

“The survival rates in this country are disgracefully low – between two per cent and 12 per cent – which means that approximately 55,000 people a year will die from a cardiac arrest. About half of those are, in theory, able to get help through the ambulance service, but on average it takes approximately six to 12 minutes for an emergency ambulance to reach a critically ill patient.

“For every minute that passes, the chance of survival falls by 10 per cent.

“However, if CPR is given immediately, survival rates increase threefold.

“The great shame is that most people are simply not able to help. For about half of the 60,000, there are witnesses on hand who could help, but most either do not have the skills or lack the confidence even to try something. By training and educating individuals, we can radically alter the situation.”