The HSE have revised the Emergency First Aid and First Aid at Work syllabuses following the changes to Resuscitation Council UK guidelines on cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) in October 2015. The revision will require all workplace first aiders to be trained in the use of an automated external defibrillator (AED) from the 31 December 2016. This meets the Resuscitation Council UK guidelines which now state that the management of a casualty requiring CPR is to request an AED.
As the Emergency First Aid at Work (EFAW) qualification covers CPR, and the EFAW forms the first unit of the First Aid at Work (FAW), changes are only required to the EFAW.
The EFAW Learning Outcome 4: ‘Be able to manage an unresponsive casualty who is not breathing normally’ has two Assessment Criteria, the second criteria, 4.2: ‘Demonstrate CPR using a manikin’ can readily incorporate the AED without change as the AED now forms part of the CPR sequence (Resus Council UK). This means we do not have to produce a new Ofqual regulated qualification in order to cover the changes to resuscitation.
AED training only needs to cover the safe use, correct placement of pads and follow the AED voice prompts. This can readily be introduced during the Learner performing CPR on a manikin. However as this needs to be demonstrated, each Learner will require access to an AED training defibrillator as well as manikin to practice on.
Trainer Defibrillators are available from AED suppliers and must conform to the UK resus guidelines. A Trainer will need one defib per four learners.
For employers, the resus changes does not mean they have to purchase a defibrillator for their workplace. The requirement for a defibrillator is still dependent on the employers’ assessment of their first aid needs. Neither do you have to retrain existing first aiders as they will be updated in this skill when they requalify.
Tourniquets and haemostatic dressings do not form part of the standard first aid syllabus. If the employers First Aid Needs Assessment identifies a requirement for such items due to a specific risk of life-threatening bleeding then, and only then, should they be taught (e.g. arborists, glass workers etc.)
Refresher Qualifications – Don’t get Complacent!
The HSE recommend that all First Aiders attend a yearly refresher course although this is not mandatory however, when the HSE recommends something it can only be ignored at your peril.
Take the example, a first aider who hasn’t been trained for nearly three years when something goes wrong. Let’s say, the first aider is attending to poor Fred in cardiac arrest, but instead of depressing the chest, the first aider is depressing the stomach - outcome death!
A few months later, we are in Court with the aggrieved widow seeking legal redress. The first aider under questioning admits that he had forgotten most of his training and hence was unsure what to do, but he was the first aider and under pressure by his on-looking work colleagues to do something...
The legal eagle reads out in Court references to studies and reports on skill fade and knowledge retention and further reads out the HSE recommendation on refresher courses.
Question to employer “why did you ignore the HSE” if you had not done so, Fred could well be alive and providing an income for his widow (crying) and their three young children?
Out comes the cheque book.
The HSE ‘recommend’ could also be interpreted as ‘do or do equivalent to’.
Take a recent example, at the AoFA we received an inquiry from a leading children’s charity. Their staff undergoes both EFAW and Paediatric first aid training. Would the Paediatric first aid training fulfil the HSE requirement for the EFAW refresher training? The answer for this would most probably be yes, as the Paediatric course also covers CPR etc.
So in Court, a reasonably defence would be that you met the HSE recommendation through the Paediatric course.
In short, the HSE ‘recommend’ means you need to meet or exceed this requirement.
How does this affect you the training providers? - When a customer states that he does not require refresher courses, you now have sufficient information to advice.
As a closing point: Don’t forget a Refresher course is not a Requalification course. The latter is required to remain legally able to act as a First Aider in the Workplace. A ‘Requal’ enables you to readily respond to an incident.
Changes to the Paediatric First Aid come into effect from the 1st January 2017.
To support Training Providers AoFAQ have released new power points to cover the new requirements from Ofsted and Early Years Foundation Stage.
Changes are minimal but highly important. For the Emergency Paediatric First Aid there is a slight increase in emphasis on personal protective equipment, the contents of the first aid kit and administering first aid relating to bites, stings and minor injuries. Anaphylaxis has been moved to Unit 2 which makes up the AOFAQ L3 Award in Paediatric First Aid (RQF). Stings, bites and minor injuries have moved into the first unit as mentioned above. Shock focuses more on the recognition and treatment of massive blood loss (hypovolemic). Sickle cell coverage has been removed from unit 2 along with the need to identify and record illnesses.
As a trainer or assessor you will be pleased the changes are minimal, however you need to review the qualification specification and in particular the learning outcomes and the assessment criteria.