Doctors unveil new life-saving classes to Torbay school

Photo: Dr Nikole Norman teaches CPR at Spires College
Dr Nikole Norman teaching CPR at Spires College

Published: 29 March 2019

Children are learning how to save lives thanks to newly qualified doctors from Torbay and South Devon NHS Foundation Trust.

The national project, teaching students the emergency life-saving procedure cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR), is being unveiled in Devon.

The first school in the county to benefit from #CPRinSchools is The Spires College in Torquay where about 100 students aged 11 are learning how to restart hearts on demonstration dummies under the guidance of Dr Jon Sheen and colleague Dr Nikole Norman.

The main aims of the project are to give first aid skills to future generations, encourage closer working between local healthcare providers and schools and enable healthcare trainees to expand their skills and confidence in teaching and leadership.

Dr Sheen: “#CPRinSchools is a fantastic national project, which we are proud to be the first team in Devon to roll out. It is proving popular in Torbay, where schools are fast taking up our offer to teach life-saving skills.

“So far we’ve met with great enthusiasm from schools, teachers and more importantly the students. The children really grasp the basics of CPR and putting patients in the recovery position. This is a skill for life and a skill for saving life. You never know when you might need emergency life-support, and you can save a life at any age.”

The project is also aimed at helping newly qualified doctors with their training.

Jon added: “This is not only essential first aid for the children to learn, but also benefits newly qualified doctors like ourselves and colleagues who are taking part in delivering the teaching.

“By organising and teaching these classes we expand our skills and confidence in teaching and leadership – all an important part of being a doctor. So far we are finding it very rewarding teaching energetic children who want to learn. Hopefully they can pass on their new skills!”

Sophie Steer, Assistant Head of Physical Education at The Spires College, said: “The children are really taking to this project and enjoy the hands-on activity. The doctors are very good at teaching and we welcome them. We’re delighted to back this as the first school in Devon. It shows you are never too young to learn a vital skill.”

#CPRinSchools is a national initiative for trainee healthcare professionals to teach CPR to children in schools. The project has gained significant support nationally from both senior and junior doctors including the UKFPO (the body responsibly for the training of newly qualified doctors), GMC and Royal Colleges and has been acknowledged by the Prime Minister at the NHS70 reception at Downing Street. The UK Government and Education Secretary are committed to first aid teaching to children in schools.