North Yorkshire Council considers paying residents to host hospital patients

The scheme is aimed at helping people who have recently had surgery or suffered a fall.

Residents of North Yorkshire could be paid £50 a night to take in hospital patients because of a shortage of beds in care homes.

North Yorkshire County Council is considering expanding a scheme under which patients are discharged into private properties after surgery or a fall.

The scheme is aimed at anyone with a spare room and time to help those needing support with "minimal care needs" before moving back into their own home.

Managed by Cambridge-based organisation Care Rooms, it has already been trialled in York and Selby after being launched last year.

The scheme could be expanded to other areas facing a shortage of care home beds, including Richmond, Scarborough and Whitby.

A report by leading North Yorkshire County Council officers said Care Rooms "offers a unique and innovative approach to addressing ongoing pressures in the care market", making use of the "resources that exist within local communities".

Cllr Michael Harrison, executive member for adult services and health, said: "It's a great way for people to feel that they are giving something back to the community.

"We are really appreciative of people who would be willing up to open up their homes to people."

The council said the impacts of Brexit, the Covid pandemic and the cost of living crisis on staffing levels in the care sector have been particularly felt in rural and coastal areas of the county.

It reported in summer that more people were staying in hospital longer than they needed to because of a lack of places in care facilities.

In addition, this year has seen further closures of care homes, some of which are due to significant reliance on expensive agency staff.

The council said it was looking to boost recruitment in adult social care, but many areas were still struggling.

Want a quick and expert briefing on the biggest news stories? Listen to our latest podcasts to find out What You Need To Know.