NHS bosses ponder hospital hotels to ease ward pressure

Nurse giving patient medicine A patient hotel system would take the strain off hospital wards

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Plans for hospital hotels to care for patients who no longer need 24-hour medical care are being considered by NHS managers.

Under the proposals, patients such as the elderly waiting to be discharged, new mothers and stroke patients would recover in hotel-style facilities.

The idea is being reviewed by the new commissioning body, NHS England.

Supporters say the scheme, based on a Scandinavian model, would ease demand on hospital beds.

Patient hotels are common in Scandinavia, especially in Sweden and Norway.

They cater for patients who do not need to be on an inpatient ward, such as couples staying overnight after the birth of a baby or recovering stroke patients.

As well as offering more freedom for patients, the buildings are designed to save money, since a hotel room is cheaper than the price of a hospital bed.

The issue has been investigated by Baroness Greengross, a cross-bench peer.

Start Quote

The patient hotel concept offers advantages to some types of patient...But it may not be appropriate for all patients, and it is important to ensure that it is used only where most clinically and cost effective.”

End Quote Candace Imison The King's Fund

A Department of Health spokeswoman said: "Proposals for health hotels were submitted to the department by Baroness Greengross. Ministers have forwarded the proposals to NHS England so they can review them."

NHS England is the new body responsible for overseeing the commissioning of services by local doctors.

An estimated 30,000 patients each year are kept in hospital despite being well enough to be discharged.

They include elderly patients waiting for a place in a nursing home or those with dementia.

Some UK hospitals already provide accommodation for patients who need to stay close to hospital premises but do not need constant medical care.

University College London Hospitals (UCLH) provides hotel rooms where patients, such as those needing daily cancer treatment, can stay with relatives near to the hospital.

UCLH says the cost, which is paid for by the NHS, is cheaper than 24-hour hospital care.

According to figures from 2010, the cost of keeping a patient in a hospital bed overnight is more than £300 compared with around half that for a hotel room.

Commenting on the proposals, Candace Imison, The King's Fund's deputy director of policy, said:

"The patient hotel concept offers advantages to some types of patient, such as those who receive cancer treatment a long distance from home.

"But it may not be appropriate for all patients, and it is important to ensure that it is used only where most clinically and cost effective."


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  • rate this

    Comment number 73.

    This aleady exists and has done for decades.

    It's called a COTTAGE HOSPITAL

    I have an excellent example just down the road from my house.

    There are threats to close it.

    This government is a shambles.

  • rate this

    Comment number 72.

    We keep modelling our system with Norway etc...are we rich or something?
    Last time I checked we still run a budget deficit.
    Reduce NHS bill, tackle unemployment and tax avoidance. People would like more benefit but I think the sensible ones would prefer a sustainable benefit - we need some sense now that our country is in trouble.

  • rate this

    Comment number 71.

    A lot of places already have something similar called "Intermediate Care Beds". One my Dad has been in is on the grounds of an old "Cottage Hospital". The idea is hardly new. The new bit is letting hospitals run them, most of them are currently community based. Keep them in the community I say - closer to home and usually free parking!

  • rate this

    Comment number 70.

    So long as the people don't need to pay large sums of money then it is a great idea. Only knowing the way things are at the moment this wont be the case.

  • rate this

    Comment number 69.

    46.Derry City Fan
    What tosh. The NHS is funded by the taxpayer and government, not the private sector. Mind you, if far more of yer corporation tax dodging chums in the private sector DID ACTUALLY pay what they SHOULD be paying maybe you would have a point.

    Quite right & the country might also not be in the financial pickle it is now.

  • rate this

    Comment number 68.

    A good idea.

    But with any of the current political parties we have at the minute you can pretty much guarantee that the execution will be sloppy, and the private companies will cream a tidy profit out of it.

  • rate this

    Comment number 67.

    I could fill this page with expltetives, regarding how some people state how well off I am and how much money I earn, and what a great pension and secure job I have. Bet you do not work in nhs! its not as good as you are led to believe

  • rate this

    Comment number 66.

    Great idea, we could call them "cottage hospitals".
    No wait, we closed all those down decades ago to 'save money'.


  • rate this

    Comment number 65.

    Presumably guest will be invited to enter "via the back door" as this is how the Tories intend to privatise the NHS

  • rate this

    Comment number 64.

    This already exists at Nottingham City hospital. My family has had cause to use it, and it is a wonderful facility. The Trust should be congratulated for its forward thinking.

  • rate this

    Comment number 63.

    One big problem with hospitals is infectious diseases. e.g. MRSA, vomiting/diarrhoea bugs etc.

    Moving the long term convalescing to different locations would suit them, and reduce the chances of visitors bringing in bugs for the very sick.

  • rate this

    Comment number 62.

    Sounds like a good idea but you can see what will happen once it is established. There will be more emphasis on running it at a profit rather than a medical recovery facility.
    Emma Nicholson's husband was operated on in a private clinic ended up in an NHS hospital but still died. She found out afterwards that he had been treated in a hotel/restaurant which had a medical facility as an add on job.

  • rate this

    Comment number 61.

    Bosses at the NHS are probably as contrived as at the BBC, jobs for the boys/girls no doubt and any foray into linking up with private enterprise ie. hotel chains are but the first few chips at the foundation of the NHS.
    The ConDemLab will not be happy until our heritage is swept from history and replaced with their sponsors in the city who will milk us for every last drop!

  • rate this

    Comment number 60.


    I also remember these but cannot remember why they were abolished - to save money perhaps?

  • Comment number 59.

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the house rules. Explain.

  • rate this

    Comment number 58.

    This idea is not new , it was the thesis for my MA was back in the eighties , its just another building on a hospital site ,, an improved hospital at home scheme is better

  • rate this

    Comment number 57.

    Great idea that should really work........until you add the 27 layers of "management" with massive wage demands with the addition of the beaurocracy, health and safety requirements, plus the need for an entire forest of useless "paperwork" that the "Goons" running the NHS would insist upon......then it would never be cost effective and fail miserably.

    Such a pity it's a really good idea

  • rate this

    Comment number 56.

    Its a good idea in principle but this government has a horrific track record and executing them poorly. And who can blame people for being sceptical about the governments motivation for this scheme? They put private business interests ahead of everything else and see it as the solution to every problem it encouters. I see no reason to see why their motivations would change regarding this.

  • rate this

    Comment number 55.

    We already have to import thousands of immigrants to staff our hospitals and probably more now the way they are treating our nurses.instead of simply increasing staffing levels ,at of course great cost.The tories seem content to vilify our nurses.How low will they stoop,cutting benefits for disabled children maybe,oh they have already done so.Leave nurses alone,the tories need to be kicked out.

  • rate this

    Comment number 54.

    Health Hotel? Marvellous! Will they take all major credit and debit cards?


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