Rosie Cooper MP

Working hard for the people of West Lancashire

01/02/07 Rosie Cooper backs heart campaign

Rosie Cooper, MP for West Lancashire, is backing a British Heart Foundation (BHF) campaign to raise awareness of the warning signs of a heart attack, urging constituents not to delay calling 999 if they experience chest pain.

The MP for West Lancashire is supporting the charity’s ‘Doubt Kills’ campaign, after attending a BHF event at the House of Commons. Rosie’s support comes as new figures were released by the BHF showing that fewer than one in ten of the general public have the skills to save a life.

A poll conducted for the BHF shows around a quarter of the UK population have received cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) training in the last five years. But when healthcare professionals and others who have received training as part of their job are discounted, just 9% of the general public have been trained voluntarily. In the North West just 7% of the general public have received training voluntarily.

The BHF is using the findings to urge more people to sign up to free Heartstart UK courses – which will not only increase the numbers able to save a life, but also increase general awareness of the symptoms of a heart attack and what to do if you have one.

Rosie said:

“We often hear stories about when people should not call 999, but it is crucial that people are also told when they should call 999. Chest pain is one such occasion, because it could be a heart attack – and nobody is going to be upset with you if it turns out to be a false alarm."

“This is an important campaign from the BHF as it has the potential to save many lives in West Lancashire. People in the area should also be armed with the skills to save a life should they be with someone when the worst happens – which is why I urge my constituents to sign up for a free Heartstart UK course.”

Katharine Peel, Head of Emergency Life Support at the BHF, says: Coronary heart disease is the UK’s single biggest killer, with someone suffering a heart attack every two minutes, so this is a problem none of us can afford to ignore.

“The more people we can teach emergency life support skills, the more people will be aware of the symptoms of a heart attack. This in turn will hopefully mean people will react quicker if they or a family member suffer chest pain or other heart attack symptoms.”

The BHF is also calling for emergency life support training to be made a standard part of every child’s education across the UK, to ensure an entire generation of children are exposed to vital lifesaving skills such as CPR.

For more information, and to find a course in your area, visit bhf.org.uk/heartstart or email heartstart@bhf.org.uk. If you do not have email or internet access, call 020 7487 7115. 

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