NHS hospitals resort to hotels to free up beds

NHS hospitals resort to hotels to free up beds

Devon NHS - Image TTL Deez / Shutterstock

Under pressure NHS hospitals in the Southwest of England have resorted to using hotels in as they work to free up beds for patients needing hospitalisation.

With the problem of bed blocking still to be resolved, NHS Trusts in Plymouth and Bristol are moving medically fit patients waiting for care packages to be put in place to able them to return home, into local hotels.

According to a report by ITV on Friday, January 6, hotels have been using city centres hotels in Plymouth, Bristol and Devon as far back as October 2022.

A spokesperson for NHS Devon said: “Care hotels are just one of many positive measures health and care partners have put in place to reduce pressure on busy health services this winter.

“They are not used for hospital patients and are used to provide social care for people who are medically fit and do not require hospital care but do need additional living support after a stay in hospital or to prevent them from needing to be admitted.”

Patients who are being housed in the hotels have nothing but kind words for the scheme with one reflecting the views of all those that have been housed under the scheme. The anonymous reviewer said: “You have all been so kind to me, nothing is too much trouble. Such pleasant memories.”

While another patient at the Devon care hotel added: “I feel very grateful the carers have been very caring and good to me.”

It is thought that the average stay in these facilities, which is freeing up between 40 and 100 beds, is up to three weeks with hospitals indicating that the scheme could run through to spring.

A spokesperson for the Bristol, North Somerset and South Gloucestershire Integrated Care Board (ICB) said: “Local health and care services are under significant pressure and this temporary care facility delivered at a local hotel will help us to improve the ‘flow’ of patients through our hospitals by ensuring more people can be discharged as soon as they are medically fit to leave the hospital.

“Nobody should have to stay in hospital longer than necessary and this facility will ensure more people can be discharged promptly.

“It will also improve the flow of patients through our hospitals while helping to address ambulance handover delays.”

In other areas care homes are being used with live-in carers providing support for those waiting to go home.

Care workers are believed to be providing support to those housed in these facilities.

With the pressure on NHS hospitals expected to remain high until at least the end of March, the report suggests that more Trusts will resort to hotels to house medically fit patients waiting to return home.

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Written by

Peter McLaren-Kennedy

Originally from South Africa, Peter is based on the Costa Blanca and is a web reporter for the Euro Weekly News covering international and Spanish national news. Got a news story you want to share? Then get in touch at editorial@euroweeklynews.com.