Out-of-Hospital Cardiac Arrest (OHCA) strategy: case study

A case study of the Out of Hospital Cardiac Arrest strategy which assesses the extent to which the Strategy embodies the ‘Scottish Approach’ to policy.

2. Introduction

The publication of Scotland’s first OHCA Strategy in March 2015 signalled the national ambition for Scotland to become a world leader in OHCA outcomes. The document sets out 17 aims that span the ‘Chain of Survival’ – the crucial elements that can save a life when someone has an OHCA (Figure 1). The two headline aims for the Strategy are:

“We aim to increase survival rates after OHCA by 10% across the country within five years. Reaching this level of performance would mean around 300 more lives being saved every year compared to recent years. Starting an improvement programme now could result in a total of 1,000 additional lives saved by 2020.

We aim to equip an additional 500,000 people with Cardiopulmonary Resuscitation ( CPR) skills by 2020. Increasing the incidence of bystander CPR is the cornerstone of improving outcomes because prompt bystander CPR can increase the likelihood of survival after OHCA by 2 or 3 times.” (Scottish Government 2015a, p 4)

Figure 1: The augmented chain of survival (Resuscitation Research Group, cited by Scottish Government 2015a, p 13)

Figure 1: The augmented chain of survival (Resuscitation Research Group, cited by Scottish Government 2015a, p 13)

2.1 Project Aim(s) and Objectives(s)

The aim of this research project is to examine whether the OHCA Strategy is an example of a potentially distinctive ‘Scottish Approach’ to policy-making (see Section 3 for overview) and if this contributes to continued improvement with existing resources. This will be primarily achieved through interviews with stakeholders.

The objectives are:

1) To identify relevant documents and literature to summarise the main elements of the ‘Scottish Approach’. This will be used as the framework to inform this research and the choice of interview questions.

2) Using this literature, interview transcripts and existing data

  • Establish whether the OHCA Strategy can be considered an example of the Scottish Approach and the impact this has made
  • Set out if and how this Scottish Approach has contributed to achieving the aims of the Strategy
  • Identify the main successes and challenges of this approach in the delivery of the Strategy

3) Produce a report that sets out the findings of this research project, including the broader lessons that are transferrable to future policy delivery.

Information about the design, partner organisations invited to interview, analysis and rigour of this Internship project is provided in a full methodology in Annex A.


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