Get involved: My Right To Cardiac Arrest Recovery

Four women and two men stand facing the camera wearing smart clothing, holding placards that read "My Right to Cardiac Arrest Recovery""

At Resuscitation Council UK (RCUK), we believe everyone has the right to make their best possible recovery after a cardiac arrest. That’s why we’re campaigning to improve the post-cardiac arrest support offered by the NHS. 

In the UK, when someone has a heart attack or a stroke, there are formal care pathways that outline exactly what kind of support they and their families should receive to help them recover.  But for cardiac arrest survivors, the support on offer is inconsistent. 

That’s why we’re developing a new set of guidelines for cardiac arrest survivors, aimed at ensuring consistent, effective, and sustainable care for them and their families. 

Although there are some recognised guidelines for cardiac arrest survivors and their families, they’re inconsistent and can vary considerably depending on where you live in the UK.  

In some places, there’s not even a minimal requirement to follow up with someone who’s had a cardiac arrest – which means lots of people could be missing out on the vital treatments and support they need to make a full recovery.  

The NHS needs to improve its post-cardiac arrest support. That's why as the leading organisation for resuscitation in the UK, we'll be publishing a new set of guidelines for cardiac arrest rehabilitation in autumn 2023 - as part of our My Right To #CardiacArrestRecovery campaign. The guidelines will detail how survivors of cardiac arrest should have access to consistent, effective, and sustainable care.

We have been working with decision makers across the four nations on our cardiac arrest survivorship campaign. From hosting parliamentary receptions, to presenting policy briefings, to attending evidence sessions:

Parliamentary Briefing for MPs 
Parliamentary Briefing for MSPs  
Parliamentary Briefing for MLAs (Coming soon)
Parliamentary Briefing for MSs (Coming soon)

How you can support My Right To #CardiacArrestRecovery  

Write to your member of parliament 

We need decision makers across the UK to prioritise this important issue, so the more people who get in touch with them to support cardiac arrest survivors and My Right To #CardiacArrestRecovery, the better. To contact your local MP, MSP, MLA, or MS via email, visit TheyWorkforYou.com and input your postcode to get their email address.

 Next, copy and paste our template letter into an email and fill in the blanks. (If you could CC our team at communications@resus.org.uk, we’d be very grateful.) 

You can also contact your parliamentary representative by post by looking up their address and printing and posting the letter.  

Share your expertise with us

If you or someone in your family is a cardiac arrest survivor, we’d love to hear from you. Personal stories from people who’ve experienced cardiac arrest are vital to our campaign and help us ensure we’re highlighting the issues that matter the most.  

We hold regular meetings to discuss the campaign’s next steps, so your expert insight would be tremendously valuable.  

Please email us now at communications@resus.org.uk.
 

What happens when you have a cardiac arrest?

Asad's Story

When Asad met his work friends to play a 90 minute kickabout, he wasn’t expecting to wake up in hospital. Were it not for the presence of two hospital medics, he might not have woken up at all.

Charlotte's Story

On Boxing Day 2017, Charlotte’s world came crashing down when she suffered a cardiac arrest. Her incredible engineer husband performed eight minutes of CPR. 

Dave's Story

On Saturday Feb 13, 2021, Dave had a heart attack and a week later he went into a state of cardiac arrest – the ultimate medical emergency – his heart had stopped beating.  

Support for cardiac arrest survivors 

A cardiac arrest incident can have a huge impact upon all those involved, causing a ripple effect that often goes far beyond the person who's had the arrest. Being resuscitated, performing CPR or witnessing a cardiac arrest can be incredibly stressful.  

As a result, cardiac arrest survivors often struggle with anxiety, depression, and post-traumatic stress – as do their families, caregivers, healthcare professionals and rescuers. 

If you’ve been affected by a cardiac arrest, support is available. Please browse the links below.  

 

Sudden Cardiac Arrest UK: SCA UK is a charity and peer support network, committed to providing a safe and supportive community for those impacted by sudden cardiac arrest and helping them on their journey to recovery.

The charity has several active Facebook groups (Sudden Cardiac Arrest UK and Chain of Survival UK), which aim to provide a friendly, non-judgmental, and empathetic platform for survivors, co-survivors and key supporters to connect and find support as they navigate their recovery journey.

They also provide resources, information and blogs from individuals involved in a cardiac arrest.  The site provides useful insight and practical help on a range of issues, from driving, insurance, dental treatment, brain injuries, to counselling.

SCA UK also runs a podcast, “Life After Cardiac Arrest”, featuring conversations with people whose lives have been affected by a cardiac arrest, whether that's a patient, partner, lifesaver or healthcare professional, aiming to insight, information and hope to any others going through this lifechanging event.

BHF Cardiac Arrest Survivor Support: BHF have created a cardiac arrest information and support page, which includes links to their Heart Helpline & other resources on post-cardiac arrest care.

Advice Line Nurses: This free, confidential Advice Line service provides support and information for people living with lung disease, heart disease and stroke, and their families. If you or a family member has a question about your OHCA, then phone the helpline on 0808 801 0899 (free from landlines and mobile). The nurses are available to speak to Monday – Friday, 9.30am-4pm.

Life After Cardiac Arrest (Scotland): This website provides support and information for those who have experienced an out of hospital cardiac arrest (OHCA), their families and those who have been bereaved by OHCA.

Stay up to date on the latest news from RCUK 

We’d love to keep you up to date with what our policy and campaigns team is up to by contacting you via email from time to time. Be the first to know by joining our mailing list now. 

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Get in touch 

If you have any questions, feedback or ideas, get in touch by contacting communications@resus.org.uk