NHS using hotels in Plymouth and Bristol to house patients amid pressure on hospitals

Hotel windows Credit: ITV

Hotels in the South West are being used to care for patients who are ready to be discharged from hospital as pressure on the NHS continues to grow.

People who are medically fit enough to leave hospital but can't get the social care they need in the community are being put up in the hotels to help free up beds.

Hospitals in Plymouth and Bristol are among those using hotels to relieve pressure, and the scheme is currently being discussed by health bosses in Cornwall.

It is understood the Leonardo Hotel in Plymouth City Centre, previously a Jury's Inn, is among those being used to provide care.

NHS Devon has been using their care hotel since mid-October 2022 with 40 beds available across two self-contained floors.

A spokesperson for NHS Devon said: “Care hotels are just one of many positive measures health and care partners have put in place to reduce pressure on busy health services this winter.

Leonardo Hotels in Plymouth Credit: ITV

"They are not used for hospital patients and are used to provide social care for people who are medically fit and do not require hospital care but do need additional living support after a stay in hospital or to prevent them from needing to be admitted."

One anonymous user of the service praised the "camaraderie from everyone" at the site, adding: "You have all been so kind to me, nothing is too much trouble. Such pleasant memories."

While another patient at the Devon care hotel added: "I feel very grateful the carers have been very caring and good to me."

Meanwhile in Bristol 30 beds have been put aside at an unknown hotel in the city centre for patients leaving hospitals in the area.

The average length of stay at the site, which has been running since the end of last year and will continue until the end of March 2023, is expected to be around three weeks per patient.

Hospitals are full partly because they are unable to discharge patients as the right level of social care in the community is not available.

A spokesperson for the Bristol, North Somerset and South Gloucestershire Integrated Care Board (ICB) said: “Local health and care services are under significant pressure and this temporary care facility delivered at a local hotel will help us to improve the ‘flow’ of patients through our hospitals by ensuring more people can be discharged as soon as they are medically fit to leave hospital.

"Nobody should have to stay in hospital longer than necessary and this facility will ensure more people can be discharged promptly.

"It will also improve the flow of patients through our hospitals while helping to address ambulance handover delays.”

Hospital Intensive Care Unit

The care facility is being provided by CQC-registered homecare company Abicare and is being delivered by live-in care workers on a 24/7 basis with visiting clinical teams providing rehabilitation and primary care support.

In Cornwall, discussions are underway about the use of the care facilities in the Duchy.

A spokesperson for the Royal Cornwall Hospitals Trust said: "Health and care system discussions to set up a facility – similar to a care hotel that was in operation last year – are currently underway, however details are yet to be confirmed."