ST JOHN Ambulance is to train hundreds of care home staff in life saving skills across Gloucestershire as part of a major new contract.

The charity’s Commercial Training Division (CTD) has signed a deal to provide all employees of the Orders of St John Care Homes Trust (OSJCT) with a number of essential workplace courses, including a three-day first aid qualification.

The contract covers all 78 of the trust’s care homes, including one in Dursley and 13 others in Gloucestershire.

Head of training and development Paul Simons said the OSJCT were extremely committed to training in general and life-saving skills in particular.

“What was most important to us was that we had the highest quality training for our teams at a competitive price. St John Ambulance can deliver on both points,” he said.

John Cavanagh, regional director for St John Ambulance CTD, said: “This will involve training for a lot of people and we’re delighted to be continuing our partnership with the care homes.

“People we train remember and have the confidence to apply what they learn, so that they could be the difference between a life lost and a life saved in an emergency.”

The training will include putting all the care home staff though a three-hour emergency life support course, plus a number of other training programmes.

Research by St John Ambulance shows fewer than one in five people, or 18 per cent, in the South West know what to do when faced with a medical emergency.