A video summary of The use of Automated External Defibrillators and Basic Life Support.

A video summary of the use of automated external defibrillators and basic life support.
Resuscitation Council UK Statement on COVID-19 CPR First aid risk assessment (COVID-19)

First Aid is the immediate response taken to manage an injury or illness; action which should prevent more serious consequences and help promote recovery. At work many minor injuries and illnesses benefit from first aid treatment, allowing individuals to resume their normal activities without taking time off to seek medical care.

First aiders are trained to assess and prioritise more serious injuries and seek medical assistance via the emergency services or local NHS Walk in services. On all campuses, the initial action when first aid is needed is to contact the nearest first aider in the department. If not available, or further help is required follow the recommended emergency procedure. The College Policy and Guidance documents outline responsibilities and arrangements to manage First Aid.

First Aid at Work (FAW Q) training has been revised to incorporate e-learning , this blended learning format has been approved by the First Aid Industry Body. This new approach requires participants to first complete mandatory pre course e-learning covering the theory aspects (equivalent to 1 day of face to face training) before participating in the practical training for the remaining 2 days to attain a First Aid at Work Qualification. This will give greater flexibility for participants and departments.

First Aiders must be given protected time by line managers to complete the mandatory pre course e-learning  prior to completing the practical elements of the course and assessment.

First aid

Departmental arrangements

At Imperial College each department is responsible for making arrangements to respond to injuries or illness amongst staff, students and visitors to the department. A First Aid Coordinator is nominated to manage first aid arrangements in the department, undertaking a local needs assessment, arranging training, managing supplies of equipment and keeping first aid notices up to date. A letter of appointment can be drafted for the First Aid Coordinator using this template.

First Aid Provision Tool
A needs assessment is important to ensure adequate first aid arrangements (training and equipment) for the work undertaken in the department. This exercise should consider the hazards and risks, the numbers of people involved, arrangements to cover lone or out of hours working and if any special training is required. First Aid Coordinators can download the first aid provision tool to assist them in assessing and recording the departments first aid requirements. We recommend the provision tool is used in inconjuction with the tool guidance notes. However if more specific information is required please refer to the first aid policy and guidance notes.

We recommend you complete one assessment per building/part of building you occupy. Where more than one department is situated in the same building or floor they need to share the information to avoid duplication and benefit from additional support in the case of an emergency. On South Kensington Campus, the Security team provide first aid support. Members of the Emergency Response Team are trained first aiders and can be included as an available resource.


There are two types of first aider: Lifesavers attend a one day course which trains them to manage an emergency, some common minor injuries along with CPR and using a defibrillator. This course is suitable for people who work in low – medium risk areas.  The 3 day course is more detailed and is suitable for people working where there are high risk activity and restricted access.   Participants are required to requalify at set intervals. If a first aider’s qualification has expired, they can no longer be included in the departmental arrangements.

The Learning and Development Centre cannot accept bookings for First Aid courses made by individuals. Please contact your local First Aid Coordinator if there is a need in your department.

Mental health first aid

Mental Health First Aid is first line support for people who may be developing a mental health problem.  Mental Health First Aiders are trained to understand mental wellbeing and to support individuals who may show signs that they are experiencing a mental health problem. Mental Health First Aiders develop skills to advise people who are experiencing difficulty or distress and give them information on where they can get help. Should you need to contact a Mental Health First Aider, please follow the guidance on the following webpage.

Mental Health First Aid training is available for staff who are involved in supporting colleagues or students. Please see more information on Mental Health First Aid training courses.

Automatic external defibrillator

Automatic External Defibrillators (AED) have been installed across Imperial College Campuses.  Defibrillation is the only effective treatment for sudden cardiac arrest (SCA). Acting quickly when someone is in cardiac arrest is crucially important. Around 30,000 out-of-hospital cardiac arrests in the UK every year, 95 per cent of people who have SCA die within minutes. The use of an AED on a person who has suffered a sudden cardiac arrest can increase their chance of survival by up-to 40 per cent.  AED’s are increasingly located in public spaces such as train and underground stations, airports, shopping centres and sports facilities. Many communities across the country have an AED located in an accessible place.

AED's are sophisticated, reliable, safe computerised devices that deliver electric shocks to victims of cardiac arrest when the heart rhythm is one that is likely to respond to a shock. The Resuscitation Council indicates that an AED can be used safely and effectively without previous training and should not be restricted to healthcare professionals or trained rescuers. However, training is encouraged to help improve the “time to shock delivery” and correct pad placement. Please take time to read the latest Resuscitation Council UK Statement on COVID-19.

Since May 2014, AED training has been included in all First Aid training and refresher courses at Imperial . First Aiders who undertook their First Aid Course prior to this can (via their First Aid Coordinator) register to attend a 3 hour refresher course to get hands on training. Some individuals may have attended a half day CPR and AED course. A training version of the Physio Control LIFEPAK CR Plus is used for all first aid training. Copies of the Resuscitation Councils AED training DVD are available on loan from Occupational Health.

The Physio Control LIFEPAK CR Plus, the standard AED in use at Imperial College London is compatible with the equipment used by London Ambulance. Imperial College’s London campuses are part of the London Ambulance Accreditation SchemeThe AED will be either stored in alarmed cabinets in a prominent location or a bracket within a Campus Security Office at the following locations.

The arrangements for responding to a Cardiac Arrest are the same as for other First Aid emergencies in your area, first aiders who have completed AED training will be identified on First aid Notices the Security staff are also AED trained.

First aid co-ordinator resources

First Aid box label templates
First aid box label templates can be applied to your first aid boxes, this label informs someone using an item from the box who they should tell. 

There are three different sizes to choose from:

  • 21 per page - Office depot Labels No. 701294
  • 14 per page - Office Depot Labels No. 180502
  • 8 per page - Office Depot Labels No. 185815

First Aid notice poster
This Template (which meets the HSE standard for First Aid notices) can be used to inform all staff, students and visitors of local arrangements (personnel and equipment), this information should be located at an appropriate location on each floor or area. Where more than one department is situated in the same building or floor they need to share the information to avoid duplication and benefit from additional support in the case of an emergency. Details of Mental Health First Aiders (MHFA) can be found on the Health and Wellbeing webpage.

First Aid Co-ordinators
If you have recently been appointed as a First Aid Co-ordinator, please confirm your details with Safety Training.