A look at 2022

RCUK’s president, Prof Andy Lockey and CEO, Dr James Cant reflect on the past year, and what we’re doing next. 

The last couple of years have been challenging, for health and social care professionals and members of the public alike. 

But they’ve also highlighted the power of coming together to work towards a common goal that prioritises high quality patient care. Our core mission is to ensure that everyone has access to appropriate cardiopulmonary resuscitation, and in 2021 we saw many examples of work that has made this more possible than ever. 

The entire resuscitation community has worked hard to continue delivering excellence, in and out of hospital. You came together to support Guidelines 2021, which supplied evidence-based guidelines on Adult, Paediatric and Newborn Life Support. Our Instructors worked hard to get resuscitation courses back up and running, ensuring more professionals have the knowledge and skills to deliver high-quality resuscitation. Our new course manuals and materials, updated in line with Guidelines 2021, have been used in courses since the summer. 

The importance of quality decision-making processes continued to be recognised. We were delighted to see more regions adopting the ReSPECT Process, which can help people and their families to make appropriate care and treatment decisions. 

For the wider public, the importance of learning CPR and acting in an emergency was thrust into the spotlight. Many people saw footballer Christian Eriksen collapse on the pitch, and they also saw how quick action from teammates and medics saved his life. We were also moved by pundit and cardiac arrest survivor David Ginola talking about the importance of CPR in October when a fan survived a cardiac arrest at a Premiership Game thanks to quick action. 

These events inspired us to continue raising CPR awareness, and the 2021 Restart a Heart campaign saw tens of thousands of people trained in CPR, either learning in-person at events hosted by Ambulance Services, charities, medical students and community training groups, or by using online resources. Our partners and friends in the resuscitation space have also done amazing work, for example on The Circuit, the national defibrillator network, and the British Islamic Medical Association’s incredible Lifesavers project. 

Learn more about what we’ve been up to: 

Here at RCUK, we’re preparing for a busy 2022, which will see us developing new resuscitation courses, creating more accessible materials for key projects including ReSPECT, and doing essential work to support cardiac arrest survivors and their families. 

But we’re also looking further than 2022. We know that to truly achieve our mission, we need a longer-term vision, and we also need the entire resuscitation community to work with us to achieve it. Our Vision to 2030 shows our four core goals over the coming years: 

  • Everyone should receive appropriate cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) treatment in clinical, community and care settings, underpinned by the comprehensive availability of evidence-based clinical guidelines, training and life-long learning.  
  • Survival rates for out of hospital cardiac arrest match world-leading comparators.  
  • Everyone affected by involvement in a Cardiac Arrest (CA) and the provision of cardiopulmonary resuscitation receives appropriate, personalised support.  
  • Cardiopulmonary resuscitation has become a mechanism to reduce social inequalities, not another measure of them. 

As we enter this new year, we’re asking you to review our Vision to 2030, and provide feedback on how we can achieve our goals. Your help will ensure that we can all keep working together to do even more meaningful work in this field for many years to come.  

Head to the Vision to 2030 page to read more and provide feedback. The survey closes on Friday 11 February. 

Thank you to everyone who’s been part of the journey over the last couple of years. As always, our virtual door is open, so please contact us if you want to work with us.