Initiative should set the bar for UK hospitality to follow

Travel around the USA and Europe and you’ll see defibrillators in local towns, cities, communities, and tourist hot-spots. In Britain, our hospitality industry has huge numbers of people coming through its doors every day and it’s vital that hotels, bars and restaurants are as prepared for a medical emergency. But there is currently no legislation in the UK saying that defibs must be provided in workplaces or public areas.

These vital pieces of equipment will be available for use not just for us, but for anyone close to our named sites.

As Liverpool moves towards a busy summer season, iStay Liverpool is taking a forward-thinking step by providing four defibrillators across key sites. 

The luxury apartments provider has teamed up with Body and Mind First Aid Training to go above and beyond what is required by law - not just to provide a safety net for their own guests but for anyone who is close to each of the designated iStay locations.

Istay Apartments Liverpool Temple Court
iStay Temple Court has one of the defib units Image: PR

There are over 30,000 out-of-hospital cardiac arrests every year in the UK, but less than 1 in 10 people survive. Sales of defibrillators, which give an electric shock to the heart, rose after footballer Christian Eriksen survived a cardiac arrest during Euro 2020.

Unless defibrillation is performed within the first few minutes after a person suffers from a cardiac arrest, the chances of a successful and meaningful resuscitation becomes markedly reduced. Mark King, the father of schoolboy Oliver King, said that defibrillators should be as common as fire extinguishers.

Karen Strickland, landlady of The Grapes in the Cavern Quarter told the Liverpool Echo that she has seen four lives saved by a defibrillator that was installed in her pub last year. 

The iStay defibrillators will be located at four key sites in Temple Court, Water Street, Bold Street and Rodney Street.

Istay Defibrillators Liverpool Hospitality Kier Smith John Barry
Kier Smith and John Barry at the No 1 Water Street iStay site Image: PR

Body and Mind First Aid Training was founded by John Barry and Danny Leicester. The company, based on James Street, offers a range of life-saving and first aid training courses delivered by an experienced team of practitioners, as well as First Aid equipment.

iStay founder and managing director Ann Chambers said that on meeting John and his team, she realised straight away the value of the work they were doing for the city.

Ann said, “John and his team provide a wide variety of training schemes which impressed me so much, including mental health first aid training. I decided in the case of iStay to provide practical and life saving defibrillator equipment as these are much-needed close to public spaces.

“As the business is growing at such a fast rate, it is vital that we further build on our levels of social responsibility at every level.”

Kier Smith, business development manager at iStay Liverpool said, “The hospitality industry in Liverpool is becoming really active in terms of first aid provision over and above what we need to provide legally, and as a business we are making a significant investment via our new defibrillator scheme. 

“These vital pieces of equipment will be available for use not just for us, but for anyone close to our named sites. Speaking with John and his team, we became aware that defibrillators really do save lives, and as a team we are just starting on our quest to be involved in supporting wellbeing in the city centre.”

For more information on iStay apartments visit

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