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Weekly Edition - Publication date:- 2016-11-10

-en Southport & Mersey Reporter

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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 the UK.

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 minutes later.

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 guidance.

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:- with your thoughts on this matter.


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Southport Reporter (R) Bourder




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