Public health is always in the public eye. Most of us now know that A&E departments are stretched beyond capacity, and that it’s harder than ever to get an appointment with your GP.
Such concerns demonstrate an important point. Members of the public need to better understand when (and why) they should use public health services – and when it might be better to treat themselves at home.
Our research with Sheffield University found that only 37% of people attending A&E with conditions where first aid could help received any approved first aid before they arrived. Of these, 56% gave it to themselves.
This shows a serious lack of bystander intervention to help people in medical emergencies. If onlookers stepped forward and gave first aid, they could reduce injury and suffering.
- We want the role that first aid education can play in building the resilience of individuals and communities to be fully recognised.
- We believe that first aid education needs to be a clear feature of public health strategies on both a national and local level.
- We believe that local authorities should work with us and others to ensure that the people who are the most vulnerable to a crisis and their family, friends and carers have the opportunity to learn first aid.