It is not often that MPs are asked to play dead and I expect that many readers wish they did so more often. Nick was at the King's School, Grantham to witness a lesson on cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) that was delivered by Steve Hyde from the amazing local charity, LIVES (Lincolnshire Integrated Voluntary Emergency Service). Nick quickly realised that what he really needed to do was to stop talking for once and let the boys use his supine form to practice the recovery position.
If members of the public learnt about CPR and felt confident using a defibrillator, it could make the difference between life and death for hundreds of people every year. Increasingly, defibrillators are being installed in public places – for instance, in old telephone boxes – and in the offices of many large institutions. But the problem is that most of us in Britain have no idea how to use one so would never dare try. In Sweden, by contrast, every child receives a CPR lesson before they leave school and they feel confident enough to help people who have collapsed. As a result, the chance of an unresponsive person, who is not breathing, surviving long enough to get into hospital is 55% in Sweden while, in the UK, the equivalent figure is less than 5%. That is why Nick is supporting LIVES' campaign to persuade every school in Lincolnshire to arrange lessons on CPR for every student.