Coroner gives Bannatyne 10 areas of concern in report after death of cleaner in pool

PUBLISHED: 08:54 17 August 2018 | UPDATED: 15:42 17 August 2018

Kamal Al-Hirsi

Kamal Al-Hirsi


The senior coroner for inner north London has issued a prevention of future deaths report after a jury found safety and emergency procedures at Bannatyne Health Club in Maida Vale were “inadequate”.

Mary Hassell has said she believes there is “a risk future deaths will occur unless action is taken.”

The reports are published to raise concern and awareness across the whole industry about risks that could cause deaths in the future.

In the report she says she is concerned by; Kamal Al-Hirsi cleaning the bottom of the swimming pool at the gym in Greville Road by holding his breath and using a suction hose, the person who was helping Mr Al-Hirsi clean the pool was a non-swimmer, members of staff not having water safety awareness or pool lifesaving training, deficiencies in the panic button system, a lack of awareness of the defibrillator’s location and function, and a poor location of the CCTV camera.

Ms Hassell also criticised flaws in the health club’s procedures for how to help a swimmer in difficulty.

At the inquest last Thursday, a 12-person jury ruled the 56-year-old died of heart arrhythmia linked to alcohol and cocaine use.

He died on October 10 last year, after he sank to the bottom of the pool at the end of a cleaning shift at the health club’s Maida Vale branch.

According to the report, since Mr Al-Hirsi’s death the practices are unchanged.

A pathologist, Dr Alan Bates, told the hearing Mr Al-Hirsi could have been revived if he had been noticed at the bottom of the pool earlier.

When he was hauled out by a gym member, he had been under the water for five minutes.

According to law, Bannatyne has 56 days to respond to Ms Hassell’s report.

Bannatyne’s health clubs were founded in 1997 by businessman Duncan Bannatyne.

A spokesperson for Bannatyne said in a statement: “The inquest jury considered all the facts surrounding Kamal’s sad death and concluded it was due to cardiac arrhythmia with alcohol and cocaine consumption probably responsible.

“We have received a copy of the Coroner’s report and will take time to thoroughly review this before responding to the Coroner.”

Related articles

Latest Hampstead & Highgate News Stories

Yesterday, 17:30

Letters, contributions and comments sent in from Ham&High readers this week.

There are more than 3,000 homeless families housed by Haringey Council in temporary accommodation in the borough and more than another 1,000 housed outside the borough according to Trust for London.

Yesterday, 15:23

A woman from Temple Fortune turned have-a-go-hero and chased a pair of criminals – causing them to drop a wad of stolen cash – after an elderly woman was robbed at a Temple Fortune cashpoint.

Yesterday, 13:15

Haringey Police are appealing for infomration after a 40 year old woman was sexually assaulted on a Muswell Hill Bus.

Yesterday, 12:53

Two rogue swans rapidly regretted the decision to land on the Hampstead Heath ponds when the resident swan family chased them off the water and left them “a bit battered” on a grass verge.

Yesterday, 12:51

Westminster City Council has announced plans to bring its housing programme back in house for the first time in 16 years.

Two hundred years ago, while lodging locally, John Constable completed a series of paintings memorialised Hampstead as a sleepy village, then perched past the outskirts of London: the very model of idyllic country living.

Yesterday, 11:16

A reward of £10,000 is being offered for information into the 2013 disappearance of Kilburn man Robert Duff – who police believe may have been murdered.


Looking to get your child interested in a sport? Allianz Park, home to rugby union team Saracens, welcomes people of all ages to join their family of supporters and discover how their core values Honesty, Discipline, Humility and Work Rate underpin everything they do off and on the pitch.

As part of a major refurb, the London Marriott Hotel Maida Vale has renamed its three new-look function rooms to reflect the geography and rich history of the area. The largest, perfect for weddings and large meetings, is named after a Hampstead subterranean river, The Westbourne.

Londoners seeking high quality houses for sale within easy commuting distance of the capital are being advised to look north to St Albans’ prestigious Gabriel Square development.

Newsletter Sign Up

Sign up to the following newsletters:

Sign up to receive our regular email newsletter

Our Privacy Policy

Most read Hampstead & Highgate news

Show Job Lists

Digital Edition


Enjoy the
Hampstead & Highgate Express
e-edition today


Education and Training


Read the
Education and Training
e-edition today

Read Now