More than 1,000 schools in Scotland do not have defibrillators, according to new “deeply alarming” figures.
Responses to Freedom of Information requests by the Scottish Conservatives revealed that 1,062 Scottish schools are missing the potentially life-saving equipment – 40% of those across the country.
However, the party said the true number is likely to be higher as six of Scotland’s 32 councils did not respond.
Shadow education secretary Liam Kerr slammed what he called the SNP’s “shameful neglect of Scottish schools”, which he said was “undermining the safety of pupils”.
He also urged ministers to follow the UK Government by ensuring every Scottish school has a defibrillator installed as soon as possible.
Kerr said: “It is deeply alarming that so many schools in Scotland are lacking life-saving defibrillators.
“This is another example of the SNP’s shameful neglect of Scottish schools – and one which risks undermining the safety of pupils.
“The SNP Government must urgently get a grip of this matter. If it’s a funding issue, they must stump up the money needed for councils to install defibrillators in all schools.
“We know that defibrillators greatly increase the chance of survival from cardiac arrest so the importance of these devices – especially close to school sport halls and playing fields – cannot be overemphasised.
“The SNP should immediately follow the lead of the UK Government and commit to installing defibrillators in every Scottish school as soon as possible.”
A Scottish Government spokesperson said: “The Scottish Government is focused on ensuring defibrillators are publicly accessible, and are registered with the Scottish Ambulance Service via the national defibrillator network (The Circuit). This will enable anyone witnessing a cardiac arrest to be promptly directed to the nearest publicly accessible defibrillator by the ambulance call handler.
“There are currently more than 7,000 defibrillators across Scotland registered with the Circuit. The Scottish Government is committed to improving survival rates from cardiac arrest through our involvement in the Save a Life for Scotland Partnership.”
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