A joint statement by the Resuscitation Council (UK)
Requirements for resuscitation training
and facilities for
cardiac rehabilitation programmes
and the British Association for Cardiac Rehabilitation
A supplementary statement (September 2009)
is available for this document
This joint statement has been developed in response to enquiries regarding the facilities
and level of resuscitation training required for staff supervising cardiac rehabilitation (CR) programmes.
The statement refers only to cardiac arrest and assumes that CR programmes have in place
procedures for the management of other potential problems, including chest pain, cardiac arrhythmia and syncope.
Requirements for the management of cardiac arrest in and out of hospital:
More complete guidance on appropriate facilities for and training in resuscitation can be found in
“Cardiopulmonary Resuscitation - Standards for Clinical Practice and Training” and
“CPR: Guidance for Clinical Practice and Training in Primary Care”.
- Patients must receive optimal management and staff should undergo regular resuscitation training
to a level appropriate for their expected clinical responsibilities and professional code of practice.
- The precise requirements for resuscitation training, drugs and equipment at any CR programme
will be determined by the risk of a cardiorespiratory arrest occurring in a member of the patient group
attending that programme.
- Each patient should undergo an individual risk assessment before entering a CR programme.
The risk classification for each patient should determine the appropriate venue, staffing and
resources required to allow safe and effective participation in the exercise programme.
This process should be agreed locally by the CR team and venue providers.
- The minimum standard for immediate response to cardiac arrest is that:
there is prompt recognition of cardiac arrest
cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) is started immediately
appropriate help is summoned without delay
the emergency response team has clear directions to the
a defibrillator is available and defibrillation is attempted
for any shockable rhythm within 3 minutes of collapse.
- All CR programmes should have a clear policy, defining the procedures to be followed
in response to cardiac arrest. All staff working on the CR programme should be familiar with that policy
and have a good working knowledge of how to implement the procedures.
- Hospital-based CR programmes and other CR programmes where immediate emergency response is available
should ensure a procedure that enables rapid access to a resuscitation team. The emergency team should include
individuals who are trained to the level of Advanced Life Support (ALS) providers.
- For CR programmes based outside hospitals or where there is no immediate local emergency response facility
there is a need to provide a prompt response via a ‘999’ emergency protocol. The following should be in place
to facilitate an optimum response:
prior identification of the CR venue with local emergency services
telephone or mobile telephone to summon a paramedic ambulance
automated external defibrillator (AED) available
easy access for ambulances and ambulance trolleys to the
- Irrespective of the venue, staff supervising patients during Phase III CR exercise programmes
should have received training in and have maintained their competency in CPR to the level of
Immediate Life Support (ILS). For a Phase IV exercise programme
(following a successful period of Phase III CR exercise and confirmation that it is safe
and appropriate for patients to progress), staff competency in Basic Life Support (BLS)
with at least one staff member trained in the use of the AED is considered sufficient
for each exercise session.
Further advice and response to specific queries not covered by the above guidance may be obtained
from firstname.lastname@example.org or
18 November 2008
Prof. Patrick Doherty BACR
Dr. David Gabbott RC(UK)
Dr. Jerry Nolan RC(UK)
Dr. David Pitcher RC(UK)
Dr. Jasmeet Soar RC(UK)
© Resuscitation Council (UK) 2009
This page last updated: 6 October 2009