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Dragons Den Star Duncan Bannatyne Highlights Importance of First Aid Training for Hospitality Businesses


Duncan Bannatyne has told Big Hospitality he thinks many hospitality businesses across the UK have ‘a serious lack of training and knowledge’ when it comes to first aid provision, after the Dragons’ Den star experienced his own emergency last year.

The 64-year-old health club tycoon suffered severe chest pains while working at his head office last September,but he made a speedy recovery thanks to the quick-thinking and first aid knowledge of his secretary.

“It was a really scary experience,” Bannatyne said. “I had collapsed on the floor and was finding it really  difficult to breathe.

“I was lucky that my secretary found me. She hadn’t been trained in first aid but she knew what to do.

‘Lack of training’

“The incident made me realise the importance of having good first aid training across your business, so I organised and took part in a training day at our head office.

I’m in: The Dragons’ Den star urging other employers to train as many of their staff as possible in essential firstaid.

“I was surprised at the lack of training and knowledge that was in place – we were asked what we would you doin certain situations and none of us really knew the right answer.”

Bannatyne, who also owns four hotels in the UK, is now backing a campaign to encourage workplaces to train more of their employees to save a life. “I’d read about the work training providers are doing in the paper and I realised that my businesses – and others – needed to get on-board and become more  proactive,” he said.

“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 you ended up saving someone’s life from it.

Safer community

“A first aid course is really cheap if you select the right Training Provider which, when you’re employing people and paying them a yearly wage, is a relatively small amount of money. It is hard times and I accept that not all organisations can do it, but you only have to train some of your staff to potentially make a big difference.”

Michael lang , Primus Training’s Training Manager, said: “By equipping employees with these skills, organisations are not just making their workplaces safer for their staff and customers,  many aiders trained at first aid at worktold us that they had used their skills outside of the workplace. So by giving employees the skills to save a life, businesses are also making their communities a safer place to live.”

For more information on Primus Training’s first aid initiative call Michael Lang on 02920 757578.