Premier Inn has installed defibrillators across its UK portfolio, in a move which it says has already resulted in the saving of a life.

All of the group’s 800 properties now feature an Automated External Defibrillator (AED) machine, for use in the event of a guest or passer-by suffering a cardiac arrest.

The “fully automated devices” talk the user through what to do, meaning that no training is required prior to use – although there is also a first-aider on site at all Premier Inn properties who has received training.

The group revealed that within days of one of the defibrillators being installed at its Hub by Premier Inn London Westminster Abbey property, the machine was called into use when a guest at a pub next to the hotel was in cardiac arrest. Premier Inn said that the equipment “was lent to the response team, who later confirmed it successfully saved the patient’s life”.

Commenting on the group’s decision to install the defibrillators, Anthony Marsh, chairman of the Association of Ambulance Chief Executives, said:

“I very much welcome the decision by Whitbread to place a defibrillator at each of their Premier Inn hotels – it’s a move which could save countless lives and I hope other major hotel chains follow suit.

“A cardiac arrest can happen to absolutely anyone; young or old, fit or not. When someone suffers a cardiac arrest, not to be confused with a heart attack, they are clinically dead; their heart has stopped beating and they will not recover unless someone is prepared to start CPR quickly and a defibrillator is attached to them to reset the heart.

“Currently, the survival rate from cardiac arrests in the UK is tragically low at around 7 per cent, but by increasing the number of defibrillators available and growing the number of people prepared to carry out CPR, that figure can be improved markedly.

“The reality is that increasing the number of defibrillators could make the difference between life and death and ultimately give friends and families the chance to spend time with their loved ones that they would not otherwise have had.”

Last month Premier Inn announced it had adopted location technology What3words, enabling customers to pinpoint the entrance to their hotel to within a 3 sqm space.