Holiday Inn to become 'care hotel' to help struggling hospitals

The Holiday Inn in Ipswich Road is to be used as a care hotel

The Holiday Inn in Ipswich Road is to be used as a care hotel - Credit: Brittany Woodman

A budget hotel is to be turned into a makeshift hospital, as the region's NHS system continues to battle growing demand for its services.

Patients are to be transferred to the new site - understood to be the Holiday Inn on Ipswich Road, in Norwich - to ease pressures on other hospitals.

Norfolk and Waveney Clinical Commissioning Group has announced plans for the 'care hotel' as it continues to deal with the 'critical incident' declared earlier this month, in a sign of the extreme pressures the local health system is operating under.

Initially caring for 15 patients at a time and on a short-term basis of three months, the scheme will see people moved into the hotel and treated by carers from Abicare.

It is the first time such a measure has been taken in Norfolk and Waveney and will provide care for people meeting a very specific criteria. The site will not be used for Covid patients.

It is not yet known whether the hotel will remain partially open to guests but bookings are still available online.

Expected to open in the coming weeks, it will be geared at continuing the care of patients at advanced stages of their recoveries - who are not yet ready to return home.

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This will mean that vital hospital beds can be freed up for patients more in need of hospital treatment that may otherwise have been left to wait for a bed.

Cath Byford

Cath Byford, chief nurse at the Norfolk and Waveney Clinical Commissioning Group. - Credit: Norfolk and Waveney Clinical Commissioning Group

Cath Byford, chief nurse at NHS Norfolk and Waveney Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) said: “Colleagues across our health and care system have been working tirelessly to ensure that people get the medical help they need as quickly and as safely as possible during this time of enormous pressure on our services.

“This innovative pilot will provide a short-term safe, ‘home from home’ environment for people to move to from hospital when they are well enough but when they are 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."

Anne-Marie Perry, managing director of Abicare said: "We have over two years’ experience of running care hotels and we find their success depends on the cooperative collaborative approach adopted by CCGs such as Norfolk and Waveney.

"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.”

Holiday Inn declined to comment on the arrangement.