Ben Everitt, the MP for Milton Keynes North, has welcomed the news the Government will ensure every school in Milton Keynes has a life-saving defibrillator installed by the end of the 2022/23 academic year.
Defibrillators have the potential to save the lives of pupils, staff and visitors in schools, with latest research showing that accessing these devices within 3-5 minutes of a cardiac arrest increases the chance of survival by over 40%.
The announcement comes after the Government first committed last year to look at how to achieve a defibrillator on every school site across the country, following a meeting with the Oliver King Foundation, supported by ex-footballer Jamie Carragher, which has worked tirelessly to raise awareness of this issue.
Since meeting with the foundation’s founder Mark King, who tragically lost his son Oliver at the age of 12 to a cardiac arrest, the government has worked with charities and experts, including the British Heart Foundation, to identify the scale of need across English schools.
A survey will soon go out to all state-funded schools in England to finalise the number of devices that will need to be procured, which is estimated to be over 20,000. The Government has committed to funding all necessary devices so that every school has at least one on-site, or more for schools with larger sites.
The rollout will build on existing requirements for schools to teach first aid as part of the curriculum, with secondary school pupils being taught life-saving methods such as CPR and the purpose of defibrillators. This rollout will help protect schools and their local communities against cardiac arrest, delivering wider access to these devices.
Ben Everitt, the MP for Milton Keynes North, commented: "I'm delighted to see the Government has announced plans to provide a defibrillator to every school in Milton Keynes, and across the country, to help save lives of young people and communities more widely."
James Cleverly, the Secretary of State for Education, said: "Access to funding must not stand in the way of every school having on-site access to a life-saving defibrillator.
"The evidence clearly shows that defibrillators drastically increase the chance of survival from a cardiac arrest, and it’s particularly important that they are available close to sports halls and playing fields that children, young people, and the wider community use on a daily basis.
"That is why I am so pleased to be able to roll these devices out to schools across the country over the coming year, and I hope this goes some way to preventing more tragic stories like Oliver King’s."