No, it isn’t a sick joke – it’s in all mainstream newspapers:
“…The financial model is still to be finalised. Thirkettle said rooms would be rented out to funders at about £100 a night, with half going to the host. The rest would be used to pay for the care services required and a margin kept by the company as profit. He said the assumption was that it would be jointly funded by the NHS and councils. “We may also look to take self-funding patients who pay us directly.” For patients who are prepared to pay the option would be presented by a hospital’s discharge team alongside existing options such as nursing homes, he said.
“… Campaigners and clinicians argue that lodging frail and vulnerable patients with members of the public in return for cash is ripe for abuse. …”
“… In return for fees of up to £1,000 a month, hosts are asked to ‘welcome the patient, cook three microwave meals a day, and offer conversation,’ the Health Service Journal (HSJ) has discovered. …”