Graham Stuart, Member of Parliament for Beverley and Holderness, is stepping up his campaign to raise awareness and improve the availability of Public Access Defibrillators (PADs). The local MP is bringing together the emergency services, local fundraisers and council representatives at a conference on Friday 13th October that will drive a new strategy for community defibrillators.
The conference is the latest part of the MP’s long-running campaign to increase the number of PADs across the constituency - especially in rural areas - and to develop a more systematic approach to improving community responses to cardiac arrests.
Graham, who is a Defibrillator Champion with the Oliver King Foundation, has also given his backing to European Restart a Heart Day on Monday 16th October. The Beverley and Holderness MP will be attending a parliamentary reception to mark the occasion, and has welcomed Yorkshire Ambulance Service’s initiative to train hundreds of 11-16 year olds across the East Riding in CPR.
Graham wants to see a PAD in at least every town and village across the area, and have a generation of school leavers who are aware of basic life-saving skills. Evidence from other nations such as the USA and Denmark show the clear benefits of having more defibrillators around the community, and wider training in resuscitation after cardiac arrests.
Speaking ahead of the conference, Graham said: “This important summit forms another step in my campaign to prevent deaths from cardiac arrests in East Yorkshire. I am bringing together key providers, fundraisers and the emergency services to make sure every community has access to a defibrillator and is confident in using them.”
“My campaign has already helped to see 67 registered PADs in Beverley and Holderness, but there is still so much more to do. At this conference we will be discussing how we can get charities, GP surgeries and schools on-board to improve this awareness and availability.”
Paul Stevens, Head of Community Resilience at Yorkshire Ambulance Service, said: “It is fantastic to see Graham supporting the strategy to improve the awareness and availability of PADs. Yorkshire already has one of the best survival rates from cardiac arrests in the country, but there is still more we can do collectively to ensure that rural areas like Beverley and Holderness are provided with the appropriate information to enable them to acquire life-saving devices.
“One of the key areas for improvement is making residents of all ages more comfortable in performing basic life-saving skills such as hands-only CPR. Whilst the ambulance service provides an excellent response to patients suffering a cardiac arrest, survival rates are highest when patients have been given immediate CPR.
“That’s why Yorkshire Ambulance Service is leading the Restart a Heart Day initiative on 16th October, where we will be giving hundreds of school pupils across the East Riding familiarisation in life-saving techniques.”