A pioneering child safety scheme based at the Bradford Royal Infirmary which has become the largest programme of its kind in the country has celebrated its’ tenth anniversary.
The Injury Minimisation Programme for Schools (I.M.P.S.), which began at the hospital in June 2001, now educates 5,800 primary school pupils a year across the district through its innovative scheme to make children more accident aware.
In the last decade, more than 50,000 local students aged between 10 and 11-years-old have benefited from I.M.P.S. which brings schoolchildren into the hospital’s Accident and Emergency department to learn how to avoid accidents and how to deal with them effectively when they happen.
Programme co-ordinator, Taryn Shepherd, said;
“Celebrating 10 years of I.M.P.S. is an incredible success and the fact that we are now the largest project in the country is a testament to the hard work which goes in to educating and training the children that we see here at the hospital.
“The programme aims to remove the fear factor for children should they return as patients as well as teaching them vital first aid skills in order to help themselves, their families and their friends, stay safe. Indeed in some of our children’s experiences, the skills they have learnt here in A&E have proved life-saving.”
Only last October, Jack Clayton, 11, who experienced I.M.P.S. training with his class from St Cuthbert’s and the First Martyrs Catholic Primary School, realised how vital the life-saving skills learnt through the scheme were. A week after attending the BRI course, his father collapsed at home but Jack was able to call 999 and put him into the recovery position when no one else in his family knew what to do.
Accident and Emergency Department Matron, Terry Wood, said:
“Jack’s story is an inspiration to us all and is testament to the difference that basic first aid skills training can bring to even our youngest school children.
“The BRI programme aims to reduce death and disability as well as encouraging 10 and 11 year olds to become more aware of the risks around them, their friends and their families.
“The success of the Bradford project is down to the hardworking efforts of our I.M.P.S. trainers and breaking down the fear that some children may have of coming into hospital can only be a good thing.”
I.M.P.S. started at the BRI after the Foundation Trust heard about the work of Professor Keith Willetts from the John Radcliffe Hospital, in Oxford, who originally set up the UK programme after witnessing the scheme’s success in Canada.
From just two visits a week back in 1991, the scheme’s success has snowballed to daily week-day visits to the BRI’s A&E department, which is one of the busiest in the country.
Fifteen trainers – all with a background in health or teaching – take schools from around the Bradford and Airedale area on tours of the BRI’s A&E department. The BRI I.M.P.S. scheme, which is funded by NHS Bradford and Airedale, also runs the project at Airedale General Hospital.
NHS Bradford and Airedale’s head of public health, Ralph Saunders, said:
“I’m very proud of everything that I.M.P.S. has achieved over the past 10 years. Local schools’ enthusiasm about the programme has helped thousands of children to benefit from this unique way of learning about first aid and resuscitation.
“We know from feedback that I.M.P.S., and especially the visit to A&E, has given children who take part the confidence and ability to care for people who’ve had accidents, and also raised their awareness of risky behaviour and the consequences of their actions and choices.”
As well as a tour of the A&E department, schoolchildren are taught basic first aid skills through the intensive prevention programme which links into Key Stage Two education standards. Students are taught how to prevent and deal with the most common accidents that children of their age are likely to have like burns and scalds, falls, electrocution, choking, bleeding and road traffic accidents. They also learn how to perform basic life support and how to put individuals into the recovery position.For further information about the I.M.P.S. programme please contact:
I.M.P.S. Programme co-ordinator