Good Samaritans in Yorkshire and the Humber are more likely to perform lifesaving CPR than anywhere else in England

16 October 2019

People in Yorkshire and the Humber are more likely to perform life-saving cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) on a stranger or family member who has collapsed and stopped breathing than anywhere else in England, according to new research by the Resuscitation Council (UK) and St John Ambulance.

71% would give CPR to a stranger, compared to 49% in London, and 88% would give the life-saving help to a family member, compared to 72% in London. The national average is 64% and 83% respectively.

Only 62% of respondents in Yorkshire and the Humber are likely to give CPR in a crowded location; compared to 85% if they were the only ones around. However, these figures are better than the national average of 60% and 79% respectively.

Stranger danger and busyness bias could be possible reasons for not helping someone who might have collapsed or stopped breathing in front of them.

The survey results are published as Yorkshire Ambulance Service prepares to provide CPR training to 40,000 youngsters at 165 secondary schools across Yorkshire and the Humber on the sixth annual Restart a Heart Day.

The survey of 2,326 people by YouGov, which asked respondents to consider what would make them more or less likely to intervene in a cardiac arrest, clearly shows the positive effect of CPR training.

Jason Carlyon, Restart a Heart Day Lead for Yorkshire Ambulance Service, said: “We have worked really hard over the last six years to raise the profile of the importance of CPR as part of our Restart a Heart campaign so it’s really pleasing to see Yorkshire and the Humber leading the way in this latest research.

“What happens in the first few moments of a cardiac arrest before the arrival of the ambulance service is critical and we would encourage members of the public to perform CPR and retrieve the nearest defibrillator to give that patient the best possible chance of survival. Even if they haven’t had training, our 999 ambulance call-takers can provide instructions over the phone. The worst thing anyone can do is nothing.”

Andy Lockey, Vice President of the Resuscitation Council (UK) and Restart a Heart Day Lead said: “Every minute without CPR and defibrillation reduces someone’s chance of survival by up to 10%. Training is the biggest factor in the likelihood of intervention - validating the need for as many people as possible to learn the simple skills needed to save a life. Cardiac arrest can happen to anyone, at any time. In an emergency, CPR can’t wait."

On and around Wednesday 16 October, charities and ambulance trusts are coming together for Restart a Heart Day to host events and visit schools across the UK to provide young people and adults with the skills and confidence to give life-saving CPR to anyone who needs it.

The initiative, led by Resuscitation Council (UK) in partnership with St John Ambulance, The British Heart Foundation, British Red Cross, and Yorkshire Ambulance Service and with participation from every UK ambulance service, aims to improve survival rates from out of hospital cardiac arrests.

All figures, unless otherwise stated, are from YouGov Plc. Total sample size was 2,326 adults. Fieldwork was undertaken between 17th and 20th September 2019. The survey was carried out online. The figures have been weighted and are representative of all UK adults (aged 16+).

National South Central North East North West Yorkshire and Humber East Midlands West Midlands East of England London South East South West Wales Scotland Northern Ireland
Would you give CPR to a stranger? 64 66 65 64 71 67 64 67 49 66 66 66 73 58
Would you give CPR to a family member? 83 84 82 83 88 83 83 83 72 85 84 86 88 72
Would you give CPR in a crowded location? 60 60 58 59 62 62 65 60 47 60 59 70 67 55
Would you give CPR if you were the only one around? 79 80 74 81 85 79 81 78 67 80 79 83 85 75

About Resuscitation Council (UK)

The Resuscitation Council (UK) is saving lives by developing guidelines, influencing policy, delivering courses and supporting cutting-edge research. Through education, training and research, we’re working towards the day when everyone in the country has the skills they need to save a life.

About St John Ambulance

St John Ambulance is the charity that steps forward in the moments that matter to save lives and support communities. Its highly trained volunteers keep people safe at events nationwide, springing into action to help with medical incidents and emergencies. The organisation also helps the NHS by responding to some 999 calls, as well as transporting patients safely. And every year around 500,000 people, including children and young people, learn how to save a life through its first aid training. St John Ambulance has saved lives and relieved suffering for over 140 years, and – with the support of the public – will do so for decades to come.

Press Contacts

Emily Pulham, Communications Manager, Resuscitation Council (UK), phone 07506 374945; email

Louise Boyes, Campaigns Manager, Yorkshire Ambulance Service, phone 07812 093292; email