UK first aid market in poor health according to new research from Mintel

November 8, 2013

While first aid can be considered to be the most vital life skill, lack of knowledge, interest and time are all factors impacting consumers being trained in it. Indeed, new research from Mintel finds, worryingly, almost a half (46%) of all Brits have not been on a first aid course and do not feel they need one. Today, just a fifth (21%) of all Brits admit they have been on a first aid course and still hold a valid certificate and as few as a third (36%) of the nation are sufficiently confident to treat a wound on other people.

With only half (54%) of all Brits claiming to feel that they are confident enough to treat a wound or injury on themselves, Mintel’s research also highlights the potential strain lack of basic first aid knowledge is putting on medical professionals. Almost one in five (17%) Brits admit that they prefer to seek medical advice for any wounds or injuries experienced.

Roshida Khanom, Personal Care Analyst at Mintel, said:

“There is a definite apathy associated with first aid courses, with the majority of people either thinking that they don’t need to go on one or having an expired certificate. Although over half of consumers are confident in treating their own wounds and injuries, little over a third show the same confidence when treating other people. This is contributing to a greater strain on the NHS, and fewer people investing in first aid supplies. Empowering people with knowledge and skills will be key in growing this market, and is an area where brands can make a difference – engaging with consumers and getting buy-in whilst driving loyalty.”

And it is not only the market for first aid courses which is in poor health. Valued at £147 million, the first aid market has seen a decline of 8% since 2008 when it was valued at £150 million.

“While long-term decline is likely, opportunities to grow the market do exist. Increased brand communication and investment in advertising could be used to raise the awareness of products, particularly new innovations. Another way to boost the market could be by encouraging people to treat themselves and others for injuries. Brands can make a difference in this area by offering better in-store communications, advice and information, as well as video tutorials.” Roshida adds.

Paper cuts – the most common household injury…

The research also looked at the most common injuries suffered by Britons around the home and revealed the simple paper cut as the most frequently incurred injury – almost half (44%) of Brits having suffered from one. Meanwhile, razors are a problem for four in ten Brits, with 40% of the nation having experienced a shaving nick. Bites and stings are suffered by around the same number (39%) of consumers while minor burns have been an issue for a third (32%) of all consumers. For three in ten (31%) Brits, chronic pain (back and shoulder) and knife cuts (31%) are also a problem.

Overall, younger people are more likely to suffer from minor wounds or ailments than older people, with 92% of 16-24-year-olds suffering from any wound or injury in the past six months compared with 77% of over-65s.

When it comes to the medical cabinet, it seems that consumers are holding onto the supplies that they do have rather than investing in new ones. Just a third (36%) of Brits admit they rarely check the expiry date of their first aid kit and what is more, just a quarter (24%) of the nation have a first aid kit which they regularly check the supplies of. However, there is some solace for the industry in the form of the one in ten (12%) well prepared Brits who claim to always keep some sort of first aid supplies and take them with them wherever they go.

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