Hotels being pressed into use to replace what used to be Community Hospitals

Two examples from Devon and Dorset:

Exeter hotel opens its doors for former patients and NHS staff

Anita Merritt 

An Exeter hotel which closed this week due to the coronavirus lockdown is being converted to accommodate hospital patients who are awaiting care home placements, as well as new frontline staff.

Hampton by Hilton, which is located by Exeter Airport, closed on Tuesday following latest government advice to reduce the spread of Covid-19.

On Friday, it announced on its Facebook page that the hotel was getting ready to support the NHS and Devon County Council.

Today the council has confirmed the hotel is being utilised to help ease the pressure on local hospitals and care homes who are attempting to cope with an increase in demand on its services, while also trying to recruit frontline staff.

A spokesperson for Devon County Council said: “We are currently working on a number of potential options around Devon for creating additional residential care facilities for those with health and care needs being discharged from hospital in case existing care home capacity becomes insufficient.

“We are also planning to accommodate extra staff currently being recruited and redeployed into frontline health and care roles. More information on these arrangements will be given in due course.”

On its Facebook page the hotel said on Friday: “The team are now busy getting the hotel set up in support of the #nhs#repurposed#supportingthenhs#Exeter#Devon#SouthWest ❤️ #staysafe#stayathome#staystrong.”

Yesterday the hotel reported the moving of specialist beds into the hotel has begun.

It has not been confirmed when the hotel will open in its new capacity. [29 March]

Hotel opens as ‘social care’ hospital for non-coronavirus patients – helping NHS in Covid-19 battle

A Weymouth hotel which has been turned into a hospital unit has started receiving its first patients yesterday. [6 April]

As part of the efforts to help people get out of hospital when they are fit to do so, a new model is being launched in Dorset with the Best Western Hotel Rembrandt on Dorchester Road ‘repurposed’.

It will offer 31 beds for people who are leaving hospital for reasons not related to coronavirus.

It will be used as a social care base for people who can’t go directly back to their own homes when they are medically fit to leave hospital and are waiting for a social care help and support package to be put in place.

It offers more capacity to the health and care system across the area, keeping hospital beds available to support people with coronavirus.

As the hotel-based care offer is not an extension of a hospital stay for medical reasons, it’s not appropriate to use other hospital settings, such as community hospitals, Dorset Council says.

It is being staffed by Abi Live-In Care and a call system, has been installed to assist people at the facility throughout the day and night. Mobile phones and tablets have also been provided to help people keep in touch with friends and loved ones.

Cllr Laura Miller, Portfolio Holder for adult social care and health at Dorset Council said: “This a great success, showing the dedication of partners across the system to get this set up in just a few days. We’re hearing nationally about the shortage of hospital beds, and we want to be ahead of the curve by providing alternative solutions for people who are medically fit to leave.

“We can then make sure that the most critically ill people have access to the right help and support in hospitals at the right time.

“We also know that care and support in people’s homes is becoming increasingly difficult to find, so this hotel-based care provision will make sure anyone who can leave hospital can do so in a safe way, while we work with them to get the support they’ll need to return home.”

Admissions to the Hotel Rembrandt will be built up gradually over the coming days. Dorset Council and Abi Live-In Care staff will monitor the progress carefully and will build a better picture of the situation throughout the week.

The Grange Hotel at Oborne near Sherborne will be the second base to open offering support for people in the north of the county. They will be taking admissions from Monday, April 13.


One thought on “Hotels being pressed into use to replace what used to be Community Hospitals

  1. No surprise that Tory self-preservation politics are alive and well even in the depths of a human tragedy like the Coronavirus pandemic. Not just the scene-setting briefings against the civil service as the place to lay blame for any failings of government (why is everyone so f****ing useless?), there is also surely a question about hotels being “converted” for social care use, and operated by private care companies, when the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care has under his hand a great raft of NHS property, formerly community hospitals which, one could be forgiven for thinking, might come in handy (and cheap) as a resource for this renewed social care demand. There is a slightly questionable hysteria among ministers in the upbeat promotion of the Nightingale emporia. These are remarkable in many ways, but whether they will come into full use is uncertain because making reliable predictions about the course of the pandemic in the absence of information from detailed testing, is not possible. But the absence of ex-community hospitals, even as a discussion topic, from the debate about how to manage the social care fall-out from the pandemic suggests a serious panic among senior Tories that their entire economic and social pretentions from the last two or three decades, may be found wanting in the face of 21st century global concerns. I hope the PM is soon back in post to answer questions like this.


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