It is not often that MPs are asked to play dead and I expect that many readers of the Journal might wish we did so more often.
I would be the first to admit that I achieved more in the ten minutes I spent lying on the floor of a classroom at King’s School than I have done in many hours of hyperactivity in Westminster. I was there to witness a lesson on cardio-pulmonary resuscitation (CPR) that was delivered by Steve Hyde from the amazing local charity LIVES (Lincolnshire Integrated Voluntary Emergency Service) and quickly realised that what I really needed to do was to stop talking for once and let the boys use my supine form to practise the recovery position.
For members of the public to learn about CPR and feel confident using a defibrillator could make the difference between life and death for hundreds of people every year.
Increasingly, defibrillators are being installed in public places - for instance, in old telephone boxes - and in the offices of many large institutions. But the problem is that most of us in Britain have no idea how to use one so would never dare try. In Sweden, by contrast, every child receives a CPR lesson before they leave school and they feel confident enough to help people who have collapsed. As a result, the chance of an unresponsive person who is not breathing surviving long enough to get into hospital is 55% in Sweden while, in the UK, the equivalent figure is less than 5%. That is why I am supporting LIVES’ campaign to persuade every school in Lincolnshire to arrange lessons on CPR for every student. My life could depend on it. And so could yours.
If you are interested in your school receiving this free training or (like my constituency caseworker) you would like to train as a LIVES volunteer, please call Steve Hyde on Tel: 01507 525 999.