But the number of ‘superstranded’ patients has continued to rise, with the latest NHS figures showing 17,641 three-week stays, up from 11,512 at the same time last year.
Up to 30 patients from hospitals in Avon, North Somerset and South Gloucestershire are being sent to the Bristol Hotel, a four-star hotel, cared for by resident carers.
Last month, a site in Plymouth saw a further 30 hospitalized patients, with other hotels in the south of England having started taking in patients in recent weeks.
Dr Peter Brindle, Medical Director of NHS Bristol, North Somerset and South Gloucestershire Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG), said: ‘We don’t want people to stay in a hospital bed longer than they need to. should, and the opening of the new care facility is one of the steps we have taken to support people’s continued recovery in a more suitable environment.
The moves come after Amanda Pritchard, chief executive of NHS England, urged hospital trusts to consider the use of hotels, along with ways to care for more patients at home.
On Friday, NHS Norfolk and Waveney CCG announced plans to send up to 15 patients to a city center hotel, to cope with growing pressures.
The region’s health and care system has announced a critical incident.
Cath Byford, CCG’s Chief Nursing Officer, said: “This will help speed up the flow of patients through our local hospitals, so that we can make more beds available to those who need them most.”
Care hotels are just a “one more band-aid” solution
Anne-Marie Perry, chief executive of Abicare, told the Guardian: ‘Hospitals are on their knees and we are being contacted quite regularly by clinical commissioning groups.
The company said it had converted entire floors of hotels and recruited British nationals living in Greece and Spain, as well as some from northern England. Staff work on shift schedules of three weeks on and three weeks off.
Care associations have expressed concern about the arrangements, saying hospitals were not set up to provide the right kind of help.
Nadra Ahmed, executive chair of the National Care Association, said the move was “another sticky band-aid” that let down the most vulnerable.
“Is home care so broken that we can’t help people in their own homes, where they need to be? ” she said.
“It’s another sticky bandage and the person who gets moved into the hotel is the person who gets left behind.”