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Nia Griffith MP took the fight for every heart beat direct to Westminster by championing getting life-saving CPR taught in secondary schools in a parliamentary debate.

More than 80,000 people across the UK have backed a British Heart Foundation (BHF) campaign to create a Nation of Lifesavers by making CPR and public access defibrillator awareness a mandatory part of secondary education. The charity says by ensuring every young person is taught this vital skill it could radically improve survival rates from cardiac arrest.The issue was the focus of a 90-minute debate in Parliament.The BHF’s petition was later formally presented to the speaker of the House of Commons.

Nia Griffith MP explained: “Before I became an MP, I taught in Morriston Comprehensive School where we had a compulsory 10 – week first aid course as part of the Y8 personal and social education programme for every pupil, so it is possible to include CPR in the curriculum. As well as raising the issue in the UK Parliament, I am also taking this up with the Welsh Education Minister, Huw Lewis AM, and I hope that the recently announced curriculum review in Wales will give us an opportunity to include CPR in the curriculum for all pupils in Wales.”

Simon Gillespie, Chief Executive of the British Heart Foundation, said: “When someone has a cardiac arrest every second counts. Without help, the person will die within minutes, but effective and immediate CPR can help double the chances of survival in some cases.

“Knowing how to perform CPR is the most important life lesson any child could learn. For every schoolchild who leaves education without that vital skill it’s another opportunity missed to help save a life. Over 80,000 people have backed our campaign. We urge the Government to act on the public’s clear call and help us create a Nation of Lifesavers.”