The Leicester Heartwize Schools Programme recognised at BMJ awards

LEICESTER, 08-May-2017 — /EuropaWire/ — University of Leicester and Leicester’s Hospitals project recognised at BMJ awards ceremony on 4 May 2017

The Leicester Heartwize Schools Programme won a prestigious BMJ award in the Education Team category last night (Thursday, 4 May) at the 9th annual awards ceremony held at the Park Plaza Westminster, London.

The event, hosted by actor Stephen Mangan, recognises and celebrates the inspirational work of healthcare teams across the country.

The Heartwize Schools Programme was conceived and initiated in 2014 by the University Hospitals of Leicester and the University of Leicester with cardiologist colleagues Dr Doug Skehan and Dr William Toff in the clinical and academic services respectively, who wanted to teach as many people as possible how to perform CPR.

The team also places Automated External Defibrillators (AEDs) into schools and other community locations where they could be life-saving for victims of cardiac arrest.

Dr Skehan explains: “We wanted to do something more strategic than simply donating the AEDs to community locations. The basic idea was to recruit health professionals to volunteer their time to deliver training in schools on how to respond to a cardiac arrest. We are really pleased with the willingness of local schools to welcome the training and assembly presentations.”

Dr Toff, Associate Professor in Cardiology at the University of Leicester, added: “We would like to thank the many contributors to Heartwize from Leicester’s Hospitals, the University of Leicester Medical School and the wider community. Our ambition is to develop a culture of responsiveness when a cardiac arrest occurs in the community and the younger generation is our main focus.”

The success of Heartwize has been the result of a remarkable collaboration between a wide range of volunteers, school leaders, charities and community supporters. Partnerships have also been developed with agencies such as the British Heart Foundation, the Joe Humphries Memorial Trust and a local medical events company, Millbrook, who have hosted the considerable task of administration of the project.

As part of the BMJ awards process, the team were required to present their entry to a judging panel in London in March, having been selected in a final shortlist of about 70 teams from a total of over 275 entries. The awards showcase examples of excellence and innovation across 15 different categories and are an opportunity to gain recognition for the professionalism, commitment, creativity, and hard work of teams working across healthcare in the UK.

The Heartwize team would be pleased to hear from anyone who is trained in CPR and the use of an AED, and would like to become a Heartwize Trainer (e-mail


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SOURCE: University of Leicester


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