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 193.

    Just a way to slowly erode more hospitals and overall the NHS.

    Who runs these hotels.....ermmm. Private companies of course!!!

    Sick People stay in hospital to be treated for illness and injury and should be kept in a clean sterile environment so not to infect oe be infected.

    We should stop Health Tourism before saying our hospitalshave ward pressure. How many patients are are non UK?

  • rate this

    Comment number 192.


    What is it abt the NHS that it's always struggeling with something?

    Look abroad: Health care works well in NL, FR, GER, AUS, BE or Scandinavia.
    Why doesn't anybody look at how they do it??
    Get some fresh input instead of revolving around the same again and again!


  • rate this

    Comment number 191.

    backdoor privitisation or not it does sound like a good idea and instead of the nhs picking up the whole bill why not charge those that can pay a small fee . or even a voluntary donation to help with the costs .

  • rate this

    Comment number 190.

    So you can cut costs AND improve services then.

    Well, that's another socialist lie exposed. No wonder they hate it.

  • rate this

    Comment number 189.

    Sounds like another attempt at privatisation through the back door by the tories.

    I bet it won't be the NHS trusts who own run and operate these money pits instead it will be "friends" of the tory party who end up making huge amounts of money out of this idea.

    Of course the people who really need this sort of care will not get a look in they'll just have to wait and rot on waiting lists.

  • rate this

    Comment number 188.

    Nothing whatsoever new about this idea, when I trained as a nurse we had convalescent homes and nursing homes for exactly this reason. They were relaxed places with a good atmosphere, then closed by government decree to save money. What a surprise this has come round again!

  • rate this

    Comment number 187.

    I remember cottage hospitals where people went before going home. they were lovely bright friendly places where there was excellent care given at the level needed, why not re introduce them, a far better idea than a hotel!

  • rate this

    Comment number 186.

    This is a very good idea - so long as the NHS outsources this to the private sector at rates which are less than the cost of hospital stays. At a rough estimate a hospital bed costs the NHS £750 per 24 hours. It should be possible to outsource hotel beds at £500 a day, inc.transport from hospital, and 2 hours nursing time + 3 hours HCA time per day. Basic food free, a la Carte at a profit.

  • rate this

    Comment number 185.

    Would these be something like the convalesent homes that were all closed down during the Thatcher and Majory years in the interests of centralisation and cost control??? My gosh, we'll get maternity homes suggested next!

  • rate this

    Comment number 184.

    Seems like a great idea. Is there a catch? As I live alone and am getting older, it scares me that if I should need hospital treatment, I would be sent home long before I was capable of looking after myself. This would be the answer.

  • rate this

    Comment number 183.

    That's a great plan, scream you are cash strapped then waste a fortune on frippery. A hospital is for the sick, not two weeks by the pool. If NHS bosses think that hospitals are hotels, then it is clearly time to new NHS boses, who know the difference. They claim to have to cut frontline staff, yet make hotel rooms which my hardly be used, but it creates another department to get budget for.

  • rate this

    Comment number 182.

    It may be ald idea idea repackaged, but it sounds like it's an idea worth pursuing. Let's have some facts and figures so we can make a judgement.

  • Comment number 181.

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

  • rate this

    Comment number 180.

    I agree with this. I was in the hospital for 3 days last year during an MS relapse, waiting for an MRI as the doc said I'd be moved up the list if I was admitted. The alternative was to go into London every morning at 7, wait to see if a spot opened up, then do it all again the next day and the next if one didn't. I slept a lot and waited around a lot. A hospital hotel would have been great!

  • rate this

    Comment number 179.

    Margaret Thatcher used the Ritz Hotel so if it was good enough for her it's good enough for the rest of us.

  • rate this

    Comment number 178.

    Not a new idea at all. NHS used to offer rehabilitation as routine. NHS bosses took the opportunity in the 80s with easier access to private nursing homes and the 90s with the Community Care Act to shift the funding for rehab onto Social Services Departments, which have never been properly funded for this activity. Wheel coming full circle. But the "hotel" service must NOT be charged for.

  • rate this

    Comment number 177.

    Hmm thinks Osborne;
    *Build hotels charge costs to the NHS.
    *Use costs to reason further parts of NHS too costly and need privatising.
    *After further privatisation, sell hotels to Tory backer for £1
    *Owner charge going hotel rate to patients.
    *Patients can’t afford rates, open hotels to anyone.
    Result- New hotels at cost to taxpayer. More NHS privatisation and Tory funds= Tory result!

  • rate this

    Comment number 176.

    my question is, how much will they charge us for this when we need it? 50.
    my4 right this isnt a new idea, but an old one and something we should have anyway I agree with everything 50.
    my4 has said hes spot on!!!.

  • rate this

    Comment number 175.

    "If illness does befall me I would like to go to that one in California that the Eagles sang about."

    Presumably the ambulance taking you there will be in the fast lane...

    I can pretty much guarantee that if it's a success in Scandinavia then it will be an unmitigated disaster here thanks to incompetent implementation by career idiots for private profit.

  • rate this

    Comment number 174.

    These won't be convalescent homes. Those were generally nice airy places with plenty of gardens for people to sit around in the sun in. They have long been sold off to developers. The new "hotels" will be crammed into the hospital car parks, further reducing the parking spaces and giving opportunity to increase prices. Six people to a room and pay per view TV. Very relaxing.


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