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200 medical and life sciences students to deliver CPR and defibrillator training to campus and community

  • Warwick Medical School receives £3,935 from the WPH Charitable Trust to train students to deliver CPR training
  • Student instructors will share their knowledge on campus and in the local community
  • Training will include CPR techniques for adults, children and babies, defibrillator use and dealing with major bleeding and choking

200 University of Warwick students are to be equipped with CPR skills thanks to a scheme that will see medical students train their fellow students and the local community in the lifesaving techniques.

The Warwickshire-based WPH Charitable Trust has announced a grant of £3,935 to support the training at Warwick Medical School, which will train medical students as instructors to share their skills and knowledge with 200 medical and life sciences students in a European Resuscitation Council certified course, and to provide practical CPR/ Automated External Defibrillator sessions for fellow students and staff across the University of Warwick campus.

Backed by the Resuscitation Council (UK), the training covers practical skills in cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) for adults, children and babies, use of an Automated External Defibrillator (that are now commonly found in the community) and dealing with major bleeding and choking.

Last year, 14 student instructors delivered a successful pilot of the scheme to 40 medical and life sciences students, 12 of whom will be subsequently trained to deliver CPR/AED teaching themselves. They will then provide CPR/AED training to 200 students from Warwick Medical School and School of Life Sciences in four courses over the next year. The student instructors will also help promote CPR/AED awareness in a number of sessions across campus and in the local community.

Dr Christopher Smith from Warwick Medical School, who oversees and provides senior medical support for the scheme, said: “This is not just another CPR and defibrillation training scheme, it has the benefit of being peer-led and a proven track record elsewhere. It’s the opportunity for our students to share their skills with other students on campus. There are also professional development opportunities for those people who go on to become teachers.

“I have personally come through that course and taught on it and I can speak to its success and how good the course is.”

Dr Louise Davis, Principal Clinical Teaching Fellow at Warwick Medical School, said: "The hospital trusts already deliver superb teaching on CPR and life support skills to the medical students at Warwick Medical School as a mandatory part of their course, and are very supportive of this additional training as they believe that CPR is such an important skill; especially if this skill is then shared by as many people as possible across the University and in the local community."

The Resuscitation Council (UK) describes CPR as the basic first aid procedures that can be used to keep someone alive until the emergency medical services can get to the scene. CPR can be a life-saving intervention and during a cardiac arrest it has the best chance of making a difference.

Dr Smith adds: “If an individual is going to survive a cardiac arrest it’s because somebody recognises that they need help and that’s something we can make a difference to. Doing CPR and using a defibrillator is not hard, but having the confidence to make the decision to actually do it is.

“We also know some of our students are already going out into the community, are delivering CPR in local schools, and by formalising it then they will have more confidence to do that. And that may become more relevant from September 2020 when CPR in schools is going to be mandatory.”

The funding from WPH Charitable Trust will enable the course to run in 2019-20 and cover the cost of training up new student instructors, registration costs for the course, and for professional development opportunities for the students.

Peter Handslip, Chairman of the WPH Charitable Trust said: “This is a fantastic scheme which the WPH Charitable Trust has been delighted to support.

“To give life-saving CPR training to 200 students who will each then pass on their knowledge and skills to non-medical students and the wider community - the ripple effect of the scheme is huge and will benefit potentially thousands of people.”

The course that Warwick Medical School has developed is based on training previously developed by Professor Gavin Perkins from the University of Warwick Clinical Trials Unit.

Professor Perkins said: “CPR doubles the chances of surviving a cardiac arrest. This training programme will provide a new generation of instructors to spread the word that it only takes two hands to save a life.”


11 November 2019

For interviews or further information contact:

Peter Thorley
Media Relations Manager (Warwick Medical School and Department of Physics)


Tel: +44 (0)24 761 50868

Mob: +44 (0) 7824 540863