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The ups and downs of being a public spirited citizen around public… - John C. Kirk — LiveJournal

Oct. 7th, 2006

03:58 pm

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From:johnckirk
Date:October 8th, 2006 10:48 am (UTC)
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For a school, I assume that someone has to be qualified, e.g. a matron/nurse? However, I still think that it would be a good idea for all teachers to do the 1-day "appointed person" course, even if they don't do the full 4-day FAW course. (Or whatever the new equivalents are going to be.)
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From:susannahf
Date:October 8th, 2006 11:32 am (UTC)
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Yes, someone does have to be. It's usually a receptionist
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From:sammoore
Date:October 8th, 2006 11:48 am (UTC)
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Or a lab technician in the science departments. My belief is this isn't just related to schools but to all workplaces.

Sam
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From:johnckirk
Date:October 8th, 2006 02:10 pm (UTC)
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There are HSE guidelines that cover workplaces, although there aren't any fixed rules - the idea is that you do a risk assessment (based on factors like the number of employees and the nature of the business) and then work out what you need based on that. For instance, at my last job we only needed one appointed person, so two of us went on the training course for that (in case one of us was on holiday).

There's some more info about this on the HSE website, e.g.
http://www.hse.gov.uk/firstaid/faqs.htm
http://www.hse.gov.uk/pubns/indg214.pdf

One interesting aspect is that technically an appointed person doesn't need to have any first aid skills; they are just responsible for making sure that the first aid kit is up to date (nothing past its expiry date) and taking charge in an emergency (e.g. by calling an ambulance). In practice, the one day course that various organisations offer (e.g. SJA, Red Cross) will include things like CPR, but there's no assessment to get the certificate. I heard about one trainer who issued the certificate to his dog, on the basis that it had satisfied the attendance requirements...
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From:susannahf
Date:October 8th, 2006 10:04 pm (UTC)
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No, there aren't fixed rules, but I think a station with the throughput of East Croydon (and all the associated dangers of big lumps o' steel travelling at many mph) would find it hard to argue that they only need an appointed person. Unfortunately, these things don't get checked until someone gets hurt/killed to a certain level (a reportable incident), when the HSE come in and smash heads together.

I guess this is almost a reason not to respond to a call like that, but I'm not sure I could live with my conscience knowing that I'd abandoned someone I could have helped.
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From:johnckirk
Date:October 11th, 2006 12:20 am (UTC)
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Yes, I know what you mean. I think there's a parallel with the last ambulance strike, when SJA filled in for them; that arguably reduces the incentive to treat the paid ambulance crews properly, but I'd feel bad about letting other people get caught in the crossfire.

In the case of East Croydon, I was thinking about using that argument if I asked them about their arrangements and they were uncooperative; basically, "if you want me to help you out then you should answer my question". The snag is that it's the person who's collapsed who really needs my help, rather than the current manager in charge.

Anyway, I think I will write a (paper) letter to the station, and ask them about this. If they don't come back with a sensible reply in a month or so, maybe I can then contact the HSE directly, and ask them to investigate.
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