Doctor in scrubs giving a 'thumbs up'

Annual CPR / AED updates for primary care practices.

Do I need annual CPR /AED update training for our primary care practice?

Practice Managers of GP surgeries and Dental Practices have asked us this question on a regular basis – ‘Do I need annual CPR and AED training for our primary care practice?’ and the basic answer is YES, you do.

Resuscitation Council Guidelines:

With the introduction of the UK Resuscitation Council Primary Care ‘Quality standards’ it is now mandatory for annual updates of CPR/AED skills to be undertaken by clinical staff.  It is also recommended for non-clinical staff too.

According to these Resuscitation Council UK guidelines, training must be in place to ensure that clinical staff can undertake cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR). Training and facilities must ensure that, when cardiorespiratory arrest occurs, as a minimum all clinical staff can:  

  • recognise cardiorespiratory arrest,
  • summon help,
  • start CPR,
  • attempt defibrillation (if appropriate) with an automated external defibrillator (AED) with the minimum of delay, whenever possible within 3 minutes of collapse.
  • CPR in special circumstances e.g. children and infants

Clinical staff should have at least annual updates and training and updates that include an assessment are recommended for clinical staff.

Non-clinical staff generally should have annual updates also. However, a local risk assessment may be undertaken to assess the likelihood of them encountering a patient requiring resuscitation (for example a driver for an out-of-hours doctor’s car may be required to assist at a cardiorespiratory arrest more frequently than a secretary in some daytime General Practices)

The General Dental Council ‘Scope of Practice’ 2013 also states that ‘A patient could collapse on any premises at any time, whether they have received treatment or not. It is therefore essential that ALL registrants are trained in dealing with medical emergencies, including resuscitation, and possess up to date evidence of capability’.

Infant CRP demonstration
Infant CRP demonstration and practice during an annual update

Why should Medical and Dental Practices have an Annual CPR update?

The rationale of the Resuscitation Council and ~~General Dental Council is quite clear. Although dealing with a cardiorespiratory arrest is a rare event, survival rates exceeding 50% have been reported when defibrillation is carried out promptly by GPs or other Practice staff.

Many practises deal with ‘higher risk’ patients which may make cardiac arrest more common for those settings. Additionally, many GPs work in remote or rural areas where an ambulance will not be imminent.

Hands-on training using simulation and including assessment is recommended for clinical staff and training that include an assessment which is recorded

All primary care providers should make provision for staff to have sufficient time to train in resuscitation skills as part of their employment

Training for primary care settings:

We can provide a range of courses for Primary Care settings that keep you compliant and updated in the essential skills listed above. We are currently delivering some of these during lunch hours and after hours to help with extra staffing and time challenges for practices. All of our courses comply with the standards required for Care Standards. We also provide certification for these courses to meet the requirement of assessment and compliance.

  1. Basic CPR/AED updates which lasts 1 -2 hours and includes the topics listed above. We also discuss the response for choking in an adult and child.
  2. A full Basic Life Support course, typically 3 hours in length, covering CPR/AED plus choking, action for vomit and practice in CPR for children and infants.
  3. With all of these courses, we can add in additional topics if requested such as anaphylaxis and the use of epi-pens

Can I do an online CPR update course?

Online courses are available through us and can be viewed here. Practices must do their own assessment on whether a purely online course fulfils the Resuscitation Council, General Dental Council and Quality Standards as there is no practical assessment of their skills when a course is done online.

The online course can be viewed and accessed via this link.

Video links to essential CPR/AED skills:

First Aid Training Co-operative has also produced a series of videos which demonstrate the basic techniques:

To find out more about our courses for Medical and Dental Practices, contact [email protected] or our office on [email protected]