MPs to vote on lifesaving
law requiring defibrillators in Schools
Photo with thanks to The OK Foundation
IN October 2016, The Oliver King
Foundation launched its latest project:- 'Defibrillator Champions',
which has resulted in over 150 Members of Parliament signing up to support
getting lifesaving defibrillators in their constituencies.
As a result of this project, Defibrillator Champion and Conservative MP Maria
Caulfield has tabled a bill in the House of Commons to debate having access to a
lifesaving defibrillator in all Schools.
MPs will vote on whether to progress this piece of legislation to the next stage
in the debate that could ultimately see a lifesaving defibrillator in every
School by 2020. The Oliver King Foundation was setup with the aim to see a
defibrillator in every School.
Our list of Defibrillator Champions includes high profile politicians including
Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson, Government Chief Whip Gavin Williamson, Shadow
Chancellor John McDonnell and Shadow Education Secretary Angela Rayner. Their
role will be to promote the importance of this lifesaving equipment, and work to
get it in their local Schools.
Every single day in the UK, 82 people suffer a sudden cardiac arrest; less than
10 will survive.
The Oliver King Foundation is astonished by this figure, and is
working hard to increase the provision of lifesaving defibrillators right across
Every year in the UK, 270 children die at School from the same condition as
Oliver, Sudden Arrhythmic Death Syndrome, which takes 12 young people every
week. 12 year old, Oliver King, was taking part in a swimming lesson, at King
David High School, Liverpool, when he suffered his fatal cardiac arrest, where a
lifesaving defibrillator was not available until an Ambulance arrived, some 24
Mark King, Founder of The Oliver King Foundation and father of Oliver said:-
"From day 1 we have called for a law to require a defibrillator where you see a
fire extinguisher. After 5 years of meetings, petitions and debates, we are
excited that the Members of Parliament will finally put this important cause to
a vote. Oliver's legacy could take a whole next step from next week, just 2
months before his 18th birthday. I will continue to fight for this and make sure
that it happens. We have spent the last 3 weeks in Parliament, and the last 4
months preparing for it. So we are delighted that our Defibrillator Champions
program has resulted in a vote in the Commons!"
Jake Morrison, Chief Executive of The Oliver King Foundation said:-
"Having been involved in this charity from before day one, it is brilliant that
5 years on we finally get to see how this will lay out in Parliament. In our 5
years of campaigning, there has not been a vote in the House of Commons on
whether Schools should have lifesaving defibrillators. Every week we are meeting
high profile MPs, cardiologists, charities and survivors who all agree that this
equipment is vital. It is time that MPs and Government finally push this issue
through, and inevitably save many lives. As a charity we now have a task to
bring together other campaigners, families, charities and survivors of cardiac
arrest to equip our MPs with the information and facts to ensure this lifesaving
law is put in place as soon as possible."
The Oliver King Foundation started its campaign back in 2012. It started off
with an e-petition to the UK Goverment for a law to be passed that requires
defibrillators in all Schools. Since it was launched by the Foundation which it
has secured 110,000 signatures.
A debate was then held in Westminster Hall,
followed by a meeting with the then Public Health Minister, Anna Soubry MP. Ms
Soubry visited the School in Liverpool a few months later and unveil the
Foundation's 1st Community Public Access Defibrillator.
Then in July 2013, The Oliver King Foundation secured a change in Government
Policy, where the Department for Education, they then started to recommend that all
Schools purchase a lifesaving defibrillator through issuing non statutory
Automatic External Defibrillators are safe and
easy to use, with no formal training required. They are designed to be picked up
off the wall and used within 4 minutes of a cardiac arrest, as chances of
survival drop by 10% for every minute that goes by. The machine will talk the
user through every step of the process, this cannot be overwritten.
The Oliver King Foundation has since placed over 1000 defibrillators across the
UK and in turn they have saved 11 lives.
What are your views on this
issue? Please let us know by emailing us to:-
News24@SouthportReporter.com with your thoughts on this matter.