‘Care hotel’ set up in Norwich to relieve ‘unprecedented’ pressure on hospitals

Norfolk has become the latest area in England to start transferring patients to a hotel in order to free up hospital beds.

The Norfolk and Waveney clinical commissioning group (CCG) said the hotel would act as a temporary care facility, after the service declared a critical incident this month due to “sustained and unprecedented pressure”.

The pilot “care hotel” in central Norwich will cater for up to 15 patients on a short-term basis for three months and will be used for patients who are ready to leave hospital but need extra support before going home.

It is expected to open in the next few weeks. The accommodation will be run by home care company Abicare, which has similar services in other areas of the country, including three hotels in the south of England.

Cath Byford, the chief nurse at Norfolk and Waveney CCG, said the pilot would “provide a short-term safe, home-from-home environment for people to move to from hospital when they are well enough but not quite ready to go home without support”.

“This will help to speed up the passage of patients through our local hospitals so that we can make more beds available for those who need them most,” she said.

“This is the first time we have tried this new approach in Norfolk and Waveney, although the model has been used successfully in other regions.”

Anne-Marie Perry, the chief executive of Abicare, said care hotels “are an excellent example of a proactive short-term solution that can be readily set up as they are needed utilising resources that exist within the community”.

She previously said the severe shortage of domiciliary care workers able to look after people in their own homes is one of the factors behind the need for such services. “The hospitals are on their knees and we are being contacted fairly regularly by clinical commission groups,” she said.

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