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The Importance of First Aid

We all rely on the medical professionals from our fantastic National Health Service to look after us when we get injured or ill. Whether it's GPs and Practice Nurses at our local surgery, or paramedics, consultants, nurses and surgeons in our hospitals.

But what happens when they're not around? What happens in the time between an accident, and the emergency services arriving?

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World Heart Day 2014

Today is World Heart Day. This is an international campaign designed to raise the awareness of heart disease and to think about ways in which both heart disease and strokes can be prevented.
A poll of 2000 people conducted by the British Heart Foundation suggests that people are more worried about contracting cancer or dementia than worrying about heart disease. However heart disease is a big killer, one person dies every 7 minutes from heart disease and in many cases the disease could be prevented.  Risk factors include amongst others,  high blood pressure, smoking, high cholesterol and diabetes.  Prevention of heart disease is key, and it’s never too late to make changes.

So make today the day you decide to give up smoking, lose weight and make changes to your diet to minimize those risks. In addition make today the day you choose to learn to save a life by learning CPR and how to use a defibrillator.

At least 60 000 people suffer an out of hospital cardiac arrest each year and survival from this remains poor. Without access to defibrilllation and good quality CPR, only 2-12% survive. Access to a defibrillator, within the first few moments of a cardiac arrest can improve survival by up to 74 %.
CPR  techniques are now easier than they have ever been and the proliferation of public access defibrillators means more people have the opportunity to survive cardiac arrests than before, however greater awareness needs to be made of this and more need to sign up to learn these essential life saving skills and not be afraid to use a defibrillator. The machines are easy to use, they talk you through the process, step by step and cannot cause any further harm.
For more details take a look at our defibrillator faq page which will tell you more about defibs, how they work and how you use them.
For details on joining a first aid class to learn CPR take a look at our range of workplace first aid courses where you can learn your skills and qualify to be a workplace first aider.
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Emergency Salbutamol Inhalers in Schools

Good news for schools!

New regulations have just been issued regarding the use of reliever asthma inhalers in schools.

From 1st October 2014 the Human Medicines (Amendment) (No2) Regulations 2014 will allow schools to hold a spare emergency asthma inhaler for use in emergencies.

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Man completing a RIDDOR form

A Simple Guide to RIDDOR Reporting

RIDDOR, which stands for Reporting of Injuries, Diseases and Dangerous Occurrences Regulations is the legislation which controls which workplace accidents, injuries and illnesses you should report, and how you should report them.

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Important First Aid Regulation Changes

This October has seen the biggest shake-up of First Aid legislation since 1981, with the Health and Safety Executive withdrawing from the approval of first aid courses.

But do you know what it means for you?

In the past, you could be assured that your HSE-accredited training provider had gone through rigorous checks to ensure that they were fit to run first aid courses on your behalf.  In a sense, the HSE had already done due diligence on training providers, meaning that you didn’t have to.

As of 1st October, all that has changed.

Training providers can now choose their own path of quality control and accreditation, and you, as the employer, must decide which providers are good enough, and which are not.

Training providers will run courses which are either:

  • Voluntary Accreditation Scheme Courses
  • Voluntary Aid Society Courses
  • Unregulated Courses

Formally Regulated Qualifications

These are operated under rigorous accreditation schemes, recognised by regulators such as Ofqual, the SQA and the Welsh Government.
HTS Training opted to follow this route of accreditation, as we believe that it gives by far the greatest assurance of high standards of training for our customers.

Voluntary Accreditation Scheme Courses

As the name suggests, these are schemes that are operated by a variety of the first aid industry bodies.  These bodies have set up their own monitoring and quality control schemes which members are required to abide by.

Voluntary Aid Society Courses

The Red Cross and St John Ambulance continue to run first aid training courses which are considered to be of suitable quality for employers.

Unregulated Courses

It will be possible for trainers to set up unregulated, and carry out their own quality control.

It will be up to employers to investigate whether their training is of a sufficiently high standard in advance of the training, and to prove this level of due diligence should anything subsequently go wrong.

In all cases, the HSE remains the organisation who sets the syllabus in conjunction with Skills for Health for core first aid at work training courses.

If you have any questions at all, please feel free to call us on 01234 308 740, or get in touch via our contact page.

HSE First Aid Regulation Changes 2013

Tuesday 24th September 2013.

From October 1st 2013 First aid Regulations are to be amended to reflect the fact that the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) will no longer be responsible for regulating first aid training within the workplace. However the legal requirement for employers to provide adequate first aid training for employees, according to first aid needs, remains unchanged.

What does this mean for employers?

This means that the responsibility of ensuring the quality of first aid training moves to you, the employer.

What are the options?

As an employer, you have the option of obtaining First Aid training from a variety of training providers who offer training through

  • Regulated qualifications
  • Voluntary accreditation schemes
  • The Voluntary Aid societies
  • Unregulated training

However, with exception of those offering regulated qualifications, the HSE is not able to verify the quality of courses offered (source: First Aid at Work (Advance Copy)  Health & Safety Executive, 2013. Depending on the source of your first aid courses, some due diligence may be required as described below.

Regulated qualifications

Regulated qualifications are nationally recognised and are obtained from training centres for Awarding Organisations (AOs), recognised by qualification regulators (Ofqual, SQA and the Welsh Government).  They have dedicated quality assurance processes and monitor and approve training centres to ensure training meets a high standard.

If your first aiders undertake Regulated First Aid Qualifications, the guidance is clear that you DO NOT need to undertake any lengthy due diligence process, as this has been carried out as part of the creation and ongoing accreditation of the course.  Regulated Qualifications have the “Ofqual” or “SQA” logo on certificates, so an HSE inspector will accept this for the purposes of the first aid regulations.

HTS Training Ltd has been delivering the new regulated qualifications with very positive feedback from students since the creation of these courses in early 2013.  We are a registered centre with Qualsafe Awards, a leading Ofqual-recognised Awarding Organisation in first aid.

Voluntary Accreditation schemes

Some providers will operate through voluntary industry schemes that will set and maintain standards in line with HSE requirements. It is not mandatory for training providers to part of these schemes and some further due diligence will still be required.

Voluntary Aid Societies

These include St John Ambulance, the British Red Cross and St Andrew’s First Aid.  The HSE accept these organisations as delivering their training to a sufficient standard, so that no further due diligence evidence will be required.

Unregulated training

If you choose a provider who is offering unregulated qualifications then you will need to carry out due diligence to ensure that the training is suitable, meets the content set by the HSE and Skills for Health and that training providers can demonstrate robust quality assurance.

The guidance published by the HSE covers six pages of due diligence (reasonable investigation) that an employer should undertake if they choose unregulated first aid training. This includes checks on the competency of trainers, internal quality assurers and more.
The HSE’s GEIS3 “Selecting a first aid training provider” document gives more details on the exact nature of the due diligence that needs to be carried out, including checking:

  • the FAW certificates of trainers/assessors
  • the quality assurance methods used
  • the course syllabus
  • that the syllabus complies with the currently accepted guidelines published by the Resuscitation Council UK and the voluntary societies
  • is underpinned by accepted medical practice

For more information, advance copies of “The Health and Safety (First-Aid )Regulations 1981, Regulations and Guidance (L&$) and Selecting a first-aid training provider (GEIS3)’ are now available on the HSE website.

This change has come about in response to ‘Reclaiming Health and Safety for All: An independent review of health and safety legislation’,  by Professor Ragnar E Lõfstedt, which was published in November 2011.

Update – 1st October 2013: Changes to first aid regulation came into force from 1st October.

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