Last updated: 29.03.13

Hospitality firms 'need better first aid training', says Dragon

Hospitality businesses need to ensure their staff are correctly trained in first aid, one of the UK's most successful entrepreneurs has claimed.

Dragons' Den star Duncan Bannatyne, who is an expert in health, hospitality and property, said many firms across the nation are not properly equipped to deal with medical emergencies and this needs to change.

He spoke to BigHospitality about his own experience last September, which saw him collapse at his head office due to severe chest pains.

Despite the fact she was not trained to help, Mr Bannatyne's secretary knew what to do in the situation, but this lead to the businessman realising the importance of first aid in the workplace.

He is now backing a campaign set up by St Johns Ambulance that is seeking to encourage more companies to roll out training that could see them save the life of one of their colleagues.

Mr Bannatyne, who owns four major hotels and is worth an estimated £430 million, explained he had read about the cause and knew his businesses, as well as other hospitality organisations around the country, need to become more proactive.

He was quoted as saying: "The responsibility ultimately lies with the employers; to ensure their staff are well-trained. I don't think employers like me initially realise the benefits - imagine if you spent just a little bit of money and ended up saving someone's life from it."

This comes after a recent survey carried out by food hygiene specialist DayMark discovered that while 15.5 per cent of chefs questioned regularly suffered burns, only 37 per cent knew where their first aid kit was kept.

By turning to a third party online training provider, firms could find they are able to roll out training affordably and without eating in to their busy daily routine.

Virtual College's e-learning module in first aid serves as a comprehensive overview of how employees should act in they are first on the scene of an incident and teaches them about the recovery position, key first aid processes and AVPU.