First aid in schools
The following guidance has been made available to support schools.
A lot of you may have had First Aid Training Courses cancelled and may be worried about the First Aid Provision in your school. The Health and Safety Team would like to reassure you that as soon as they are able to start delivering courses again safely, they will be adding additional courses to their programme alongside their existing programme. These additional courses will be prioritised for the staff who have had their course cancelled. As soon as Government restrictions have been relaxed and they are able to plan dates these will be communicated to you via the Extranet and listed on the website under a separate heading.
Also, if you are concerned about your qualification expiring the HSE and Department of Education have released a statement about the extension of existing qualifications.
“If however requalification training is prevented for reasons associated directly with coronavirus or by complying with related government advice, it is reasonable and practical to extend the validity of current certificates by up to 3 months. Anyone taking advantage of this extension should be able to describe clearly their reasons for delaying requalification training and demonstrate steps they have taken to undertake the training, if required.
This guidance comes into effect for certificates expiring on or after 16th March 2020. HSE will review this matter over the coming months and will issue further statements as necessary. "
Department for Education statement
“The Department for Education supports the HSE statement regarding the extension of first aid certificates during coronavirus emergency and that it can be applied to paediatric first aid certificates held by staff in early years provision.”
In the last few days, they have also had clarification of existing First Aid Cover requirements in schools that are open for Key Workers with reduced numbers of staff and children, and the likelihood for First Aid being required whilst balancing the wider risks around Coronavirus. Under these circumstances, in most cases it is likely schools can maintain a safe setting with a lower level of first aiders than usual. This would be in line with doing what is ‘reasonably practicable’ as a response to the situation. So where (due to staff themselves being in a vulnerable group, self-isolating etc.) school’s cannot provide paediatric first aid cover then there is no H&S reason why staff having undertaken emergency first aid training ( 6 hour course) could not provide temporary First Aid cover if they are confident and competent to do so for the ages on site.
Schools can contact email@example.com for an explanation of the main differences between Paediatric First Aid and Adult First Aid, in order to help establish whether a level of temporary competence to deliver paediatric first aid can be achieved. Schools can also access online videos by organisations such as St John that summarise the main points of Paediatric First Aid.
The Health and Safety Team have also produced a flyer that summarises the main points:
As a starting point a dynamic risk assessment must be made based on the current situation which would include ensuring First Aiders are confident and competent.
Also, if Schools have an emergency and CPR is required to be administered whilst waiting for an ambulance the RESUS Council UK have issued guidelines to assist.
- Resuscitation Council UK Statement on COVID-19 in relation to CPR and resuscitation in first aid and community settings
Please consider the environment.