NHS trusts explore using hotels to house non-Covid patients to prevent rising infections

Lizzie Roberts
·2-min read
The Holiday Inn Heathrow Ariel hotel was block-booked in July to serve as a potential quarantine centre for people entering the UK displaying coronavirus symptoms. - David Dyson
The Holiday Inn Heathrow Ariel hotel was block-booked in July to serve as a potential quarantine centre for people entering the UK displaying coronavirus symptoms. - David Dyson
Coronavirus Article Bar with counter ..
Coronavirus Article Bar with counter ..

NHS Trusts are exploring the possibility of using hotels to house patients following surgery to reduce their chances of catching coronavirus from wards, The Telegraph understands.

At the height of the first wave, Best Western Great Britain, Hilton, Holiday Inn, Travelodge and Whitbread’s Premier Inn hotel chains were all involved in discussions with Government about using their premises as emergency bed space, or to house staff.

In Reading, some patients were discharged to the Holiday Inn on Basingstoke Road following surgery or illness in an effort to keep beds free for Covid-19 patients.

Now, as infections are once again on the rise across the country, it is understood hospitals in London are once again investigating using hotels to discharge patients.

Discussions between trust leaders, consultancy groups and hotel chains in the capital have reportedly taken place this week.

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A source close to discussions told The Telegraph: "One thing being explored is the idea of moving non-elective surgery patients into hotels after their operations, to try and keep surgeries going but also remove them from wards where there is potentially a greater risk of catching Covid."

Hotel chain Holiday Inn are understood to be on standby to house discharged patients to free up bed space and prevent non-Covid patients contracting the disease from hospital staff or Covid-19 patients.

University of Oxford released new data this week showing hospital-contracted infections for Covid-19 accounted for almost one in five of all hospital cases in England.

“This shows there is a significant problem with healthcare-acquired infections,” said Professor Carl Heneghan, who led the analysis.

NHS England said there were currently no national plans to discharge patients into hotels.

In 2014, it was revealed the Royal Free Hospital in London had used budget hotel Premier Inn to house patients and free up hospital beds at a cost of £500,000 over two years.