The British Heart Foundation has described a Bannatyne’s gym policy not to have life-saving defibrillators on site as ‘disappointing’.
As reported in the Banbury Guardian two weeks ago, Bannatyne’s confirmed it does not have defibrillators in its gyms following an enquiry from a user of its Banbury centre.
The British Heart Foundation has now stepped into the row saying there is a ‘clear case’ for defibrillators – which administer electrical impulses to restart a heart – to be located where they may be needed, especially where there is a high risk of someone having a cardiac arrest.
“Many gyms and leisure centres provide defibrillators and trained staff to protect members, employees and the public,” said spokesman Sarah Forsey.
“It is disappointing to hear Bannatyne’s has chosen to have a ban on installing defibrillators. We would encourage them to assess the risk at each location and make a decision from there.”
Ms Forsey said the charity would actively lobby to ensure all locations that needed defibrillators had them, if relevant legislation was introduced.
Bannatyne user Peter McLoughlin, who approached Banbury MP Sir Tony Baldry on the issue, said he hoped the MP would introduce a Private Member’s Bill in a bid to effect a law. “The BHF is aiming at legislation as the preferred long-term solution but in the meantime many gym users could be at risk,” he said.
In a letter to Duncan Bannatyne, star of the TV show Dragons’ Den, Sir Tony expressed concern Bannatyne’s could be laying itself open to ‘claims for negligence or personal injury’.
In a reply Mr Bannatyne said: “If you feel it is in your job description to tell me how to run my company I suggest you propose a new legislation in the House of Commons to say every gym in the UK should have staff trained in the use of CPR.
“However, I can confirm that my staff are trained in CPR, as I am.”