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 53.

    26 gsum
    When you revisit our planet you wil notice that thousands of (safe!!!) jobs are being lost in the health service, oh by the way my HUGE pension is £90 a month,so do a little homework and when you visit us again have somthing sensible to say.

  • rate this

    Comment number 52.

    Millions of pounds have been spent reorganising the NHS hospital service and allowing it to fragment or re-centralise. The costs taking serious amounts of money from patient care. Isn't that what this is supposed to be about? Stafford is only a symptom of the underlying, confused state of the government's (all of them) failure to understand how to effectively and safely organise the NHS.

  • rate this

    Comment number 51.

    This sounds like an idea worth following, BUT as soon as British management culture gets involved, it'll turn into a very costly idea indeed.
    All the NHS problems boil down to poor management, not facilities....... In fact most of the UKs problems boil down to poor management, full stop.

  • rate this

    Comment number 50.

    Am I realy old or do I remember things called convalescent homes? Does not sound a new idea to me, I even remember Nursing homes where you went for nursing care not urgent medical care. Or failing that you would go to a 'cottage hospital'. Surely time to go back to the original settings and estanlish a broadscale NHS properly funded with bottom heavy nursing staff and top light management!

  • rate this

    Comment number 49.

    36 cotswold rambler
    You are rambling on alright, sweating assets? where I work bed "use" time so closely controlled its like a military operation!
    nhs can, but will never run hotel type rooms cos of hosp acquired infections.
    priv hotel, no concerns

  • rate this

    Comment number 48.

    Errrm - this has already been done in a number of places.....hasn't it? (Nottingham City Hospital crosses my mind...)

  • rate this

    Comment number 47.

    Hospital Inn Express maybe?

  • rate this

    Comment number 46.


    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.

  • rate this

    Comment number 45.

    This sounds like an idea worth considering. HOWEVER.
    Will such a hospital be classed as health care or social care ?
    What is the betting there would be a move to the latter and ...hey presto... you have to PAY unless you fall below, lets say the current elderly care threshold of £23k.

  • rate this

    Comment number 44.

    If you believe the NHS should remain state-run, do not vote Tory or Lib Dem in 2015.

  • rate this

    Comment number 43.

    The problem with a monopoly whether private or public is there's no competition driving up the value. Perhaps there could be public and private bidders for each site. Then us taxpayers won't be giving shareholders unlimited profits or the public sector unlimited waste. Let the market forces create value and quality.

  • rate this

    Comment number 42.

    Its a good idea in principle but this government has a horrific record of taking good ideas and executing them poorly. And who can blame people being sceptical about the governments motivation for this scheme. They put private enterprise before absolutely anything else including peoples lives. I've no reason to see why their attitude would change regarding this.

  • rate this

    Comment number 41.

    In theory its a good idea as long as it doesn't mean discharging people even earlier or (as happens in the USA) telling people to come in for major operations at 5am rather than the night before. I'm not against a small charge as long as it feeds back into the NHS, exempting those who cannot afford it of course, it mustn't be a slippery slope, with charging for room and board in hospitals next!

  • rate this

    Comment number 40.

    Great idea, but like affordable housing and replenishing housing stock, where are we going to build these "hotels"?

  • rate this

    Comment number 39.

    Boris Roach
    This was exactly what happened to a relative of mine- dumped in an old peoples' home with no nursing care just days after a triple heart by-pass operation. Needless to say he died within days - disgusting!

    There is no indication that this scheme will be any better and I bet you patients will be charged for the privilege.

  • rate this

    Comment number 38.


    "All you public sector anti-privatisation dogmatists with your huge pensions and safe jobs need to remind yourselves that the NHS is funded by companies in the private sector."

    However since GNER gave up its franchise a few years ago the nationalised concern has made hundreds of millions of profit for UK ltd, and not lined the pockets of fat cat directors !!!

  • rate this

    Comment number 37.

    There are no new ideas only rehashed old ones.
    Never mind the powers that be get to go on jollies, start committees, hold inquiries and start commissioning.
    One of our few growth industries.

  • rate this

    Comment number 36.

    For many years I have thought that the NHS should takeover whole floors of hotels in their quiet times - like January. Make the operating theatres work 24/7 doing joint replacement ops and ship the patients out to the hotels as soon as they are stable. Stay in the hotel until fit to go home and everyone wins.

    Make currents assets sweat rather than add more poorly operated facilities.

  • rate this

    Comment number 35.

    All very well saying you don't care as long as it's free at the point of entry, but what happens when private enterprises demand for profit/dividends pushes the cost past sustainability? A small charge followed by incremental increases.

  • rate this

    Comment number 34.

    26 gsum.
    i do not get your drift, yes the nhs is a service, does it matter if its priv or pub, still costs your private enterprise?
    Private good? sole private importer of chinese goods, good for the economy ? do not think so.


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