I met with the top heart specialists this week to uncover an extraordinary local issue of concern.
I’ve found that if you have a heart attack in Bassetlaw you are much more likely to die than in Lincolnshire. If you lived in Stavanger in Norway or Seattle in the United States you r survival prospects from suffering a heart attack are twenty times higher.
These are staggering figures. And I was shocked to uncover them.
The reason for this is that we have few defibrillators out in the community and very few people are trained to do basic resuscitation.
In Seattle and Stavanger every child must be trained up at school and this has spread through the whole population. A simple system, run throughout the community to get people trained in emergency resuscitation and have defibrillators close at hand would make a huge and permanent improvement and save many lives. There are people who have lived many decades because help was close at hand.
If someone collapsed today in the street, would you know what to do?
The answer for most people is no. Very many people die who would live if this skill was commonplace, and in Norway the training takes just 22 minutes.
If a defibrillator was readily available this further dramatically increases the chances of survival. Instead we all just hope that the ambulance will get there in time, but even on an immediate blue light response, this is often too late.
It needs a member of the public to keep someone’s heart going until the professionals arrive.
Every school should run basic training sessions, once in primary school and again in secondary school and open to every child. Community sports clubs, employers, shops and public buildings should have defibrillators available. Every parish council should take responsibility within their own area.
It could be any of us, from a child to a pensioner who collapses and it is not good enough for Bassetlaw to have a much lower survival chance than elsewhere. I intend to get us to the top of the league and I will be launching a huge community campaign on this. I need your support. It is time for our community to properly look after ourselves.
There are lots of issues that I would have included in the Queens Speech that are not there. Some big, some small. One of the smaller ones is very important and I intend to pursue it: nuisance phone calls. People are getting them all the time, many apparently from India.
Some are trying to sell things, others are scams. I had one this week, claiming to be from ‘Windows’ and wanting to fix a computer problem. No they were not, there is no such company and no such problem. Instead they were wanting to obtain my computer details in order to take over the computer and steal personal data.
These companies are getting to be a constant nightmare, ringing people morning, noon, afternoon and evening. My Bill would make it a criminal offence to make such a call, giving powers to jail those who carry out such scams. For those ringing from India, there are other punishments that can be used, including pursuing them through the courts and getting BT to block them at source. It is time something effective was done about the pressure that people keep getting, which is particularly a problem for elderly people living on their own and needing a telephone.
There are many more issues where a voice of common sense is needed and I intend to pursue them, regardless of what the elite in London think or say about my approach.