RCUK raise awareness of the urgent need for a rehabilitation plan for survivors of cardiac arrest at Westminster event

On Monday 19 June, Resuscitation Council UK (RCUK) hosted a parliamentary event to raise awareness of the urgent need to have a recovery plan to ensure people who have a cardiac arrest get the follow up care they urgently need.

Cross party MPs and Lords attended the successful event, where they heard powerful testimonies from cardiac arrest survivors, who spoke about their challenging individual and family experiences, and the significant barriers to recovery and quality of life post-arrest. They highlighted the absence of a formal care pathway for post cardiac arrest care across the UK.

A cardiac arrest is the ultimate medical emergency, when the heart stops beating, and the individual is clinically dead. Yet cardiac arrest survivors are not offered the same well-established rehabilitation services that stroke, and heart attack survivors get.

My Right To Cardiac Arrest Recovery campaign raises awareness of the lack of support available for individuals who have experienced a cardiac arrest and aims to achieve a formal care plan for cardiac arrest survivors, which is consistently applied across the UK.

It is great to see this very important issue moving forward. It is crucial that we have formal care pathways, across the UK, that outline exactly what kind of support cardiac arrest survivors and their families should receive to help them recover.
Asad Kayani, a cardiac arrest survivor from Solihull, Birmingham
Photos of people holding placards in Parliament Square
Asad Kayani (front left) with other cardiac arrest survivors

To ensure cardiac arrest survivors receive the care and support they need, RCUK are asking people to sign a petition to get MPs to prioritise this very important issue.

James Cant, CEO at Resuscitation Council UK, said: “It is great to have everyone in one room to get this very important conversation going, so we can begin to implement change.

“Currently, we are failing people who survive a cardiac arrest - there is no personalised care plan for rehabilitation for these patients, they are often sent home with severe neurological, physical, and emotional difficulties, missing out on the vital services they need to help them recover.

“Please take a spare moment to sign our petition or write to your local MP, as a cardiac arrest can happen to anyone and anytime – meaning it could be a loved one, so although you may not think this concerns you now, it may do in the future.”

Data suggests that as little as 29% of survivors of out-of-hospital cardiac arrest are assessed for neurological rehabilitation in their post-cardiac arrest care, and psychological reviews are only offered to 20% of survivors.

RCUK is developing a new set of guidelines for cardiac arrest survivors, aimed at ensuring consistent, effective, and sustainable care for cardiac arrest survivors and their families.

For more information or to request for an interview or case studies please call Tom Shearsmith, Media and Campaigns Officer on 0207 388 4678 or email tom.shearsmith@resus.org.uk.

  • Powerful case studies and key cardiac arrest recovery resources and can be found here
  • Visit Resuscitation Council UK’s campaign page to learn how members of the public can get involved.
  • Resuscitation Council UK is saving lives by developing guidelines, influencing policy, delivering courses and supporting cutting-edge research. Through education, training and research, we’re working towards the day when everyone in the country has the skills they need to save a life.