The festive trading boost is well underway and predicted to be bigger than ever for the UK pub and leisure industry this Christmas. This trend is supported by pub, bar and restaurant group Mitchells and Butlers who have reported a 200% increase in seasonal bookings and expected takings across the industry as a whole up 27%.
According to the online restaurant booking platform, Bookatable, over 60% of us are even opting to eat out on Christmas Day.
A NHS report this month authored by Sasha Karakusevic, Director of Strategy and Transformation on secondment at the Nuffield Trust suggested that the NHS was continuing to miss targets in level of care and the festive season would stretch resources – the ambulance service amongst others – still further.
So imagine pubs and hotels packed to the rafters and all that major over-indulgence going on together with increased demand on emergency resources and you can see a high risk situation for those unfortunate enough to experience a sudden cardiac arrest (SCA).
According to latest British Heart Foundation figures over 60,000 people suffer an SCA outside a hospital environment every year, and it can happen at any time and strike anyone.
So you would think that at a busy time of year in a packed Christmassy pub that the management team would have on hand an automated external defibrillator (AED) and his staff trained on using it to help a customer in an emergency.
Unfortunately because it is not mandatory in the UK to have an AED on site this may not necessarily be the case so it might be worth checking with the booking.
A 2013 report found that just 12% of hospitality businesses have the life-saving equipment and of those 62% did not have the confidence to use it.
Each minute that passes after someone suffers an SCA will decrease the victim’s chance of survival by 7–10% if no defibrillation is provided. In fact ambulance services actively encourage the installation of AEDS to improve patient’s chances of survival.
Today an AED, like a Powerheart G5 from Cardiac Science can be leased for the duration of the Christmas and New Year period for as little as £1 per day.
Shaun Ingram, Managing Director of Cardiac Science, one of the UK’s leading suppliers of AEDs, said that hospitality groups need to wake up to the issue. “This time of year brings increased risks for everyone and it just makes sense to be prepared for a possible customer emergency – it could save their lives.”
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