Wales politics

Compulsory lifesaving lessons for children urged by Tory AM

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Media captionSuzy Davies says she wants all pupils to receive ongoing lifesaving training

A proposal to make lifesaving skills compulsory in the school curriculum will be debated by AMs later.

Conservative AM Suzy Davies is also calling for defibrillators and first aid material to be made publicly available in more locations.

There will be a vote on her proposal on Wednesday afternoon.

The Welsh Government said school pupils already learn "emergency aid procedures" in personal and social education lessons.

Ms Davies is the first AM to use a new procedure known as a member's legislative proposal to table a debate in the assembly.

She said she hoped it would influence the Welsh Government to take up the idea.

"Backbenchers of course have always been able to put their names into a ballot and be drawn to bring forward their own legislation but not all of us are lucky to get that," she said.

"This is a new procedure by those who haven't been lucky enough to come out of the ballot get the opportunity to put their proposals before the assembly anyway and for a vote to be taken on it."

Ms Davies said she had long campaigned to persuade the government to make emergency lifesaving skills a compulsory part of the school curriculum.

She added: "Schools can do this now if they like but the take-up of that is not huge and the reason for that is there are about 8,000 cardiac arrests that take place outside a hospital environment every year and most of the time there's somebody with the person that's had the heart attack, they don't know what to do.

"And normally those few crucial minutes between being able to restore somebody's blood circulation and an ambulance arriving can literally be the difference between life and death."

A Welsh Government spokesman said: "We are committed to raising awareness of the importance of learning life-saving skills and emergency first aid procedures.

"Learners in Wales are able to develop the practical skills necessary for everyday life, such as emergency aid procedures, as part of personal and social education, which forms part of the current curriculum for all pupils in maintained schools."

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