NHS hospitals across the country are spending millions putting patients in hotel rooms during treatment in desperate bid to free up hospital beds
- Some NHS trusts are spending more than £2million a year to provide hotel beds
- READ MORE: NHS set to receive £250million to provide 900 new hospital beds
NHS hospitals are spending millions of pounds putting patients up in hotels, figures obtained by The Mail on Sunday reveal.
Some NHS trusts are spending more than £2 million a year on hotel rooms for people during their treatment.
The emergency post-Covid measure to transfer some patients to hotels has been brought in to free up hospital beds.
Hospitals relying on hotels to boost their bed capacity include several in London as well as hospitals in Bristol, Newcastle upon Tyne, Southampton, Devon and Manchester.
Seventeen NHS trusts across the country have been putting patients in hotels for treatment or recovery, Freedom of Information Act requests to 140 trusts have disclosed.
NHS hospitals are spending millions of pounds putting patients up in hotels. File image
The trusts have spent a total of £10.7 million since 2020 on hotels, with the annual bill increasing each year.
It is the first time that the cost of the policy – used by over-capacity hospitals and supported by Ministers – can be disclosed. NHS Bristol, North Somerset and South Gloucestershire spent £2 million on putting 324 patients up in a hotel in 2022-23, up from £1.68 million in the previous year.
The trust said that the patients were ‘medically fit’ and were in the hotel while they waited for ‘onward care packages’.
The trust declined to name the hotel used in 2022-23, citing concerns that doing so could result in fewer tourists staying there.
University College London Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust has spent £2.2 million on hotels for cancer patients undergoing treatment in 2022-23.
The previous year the trust spent £982,787.
A UCLH spokesperson said the practice allows patients ‘to stay overnight or for a number of days in a ‘home from home’ environment instead of being kept in hospital unnecessarily.
‘It is a successful and alternative way of delivering treatment to cancer and neurology patients.
Some NHS trusts are spending more than £2 million a year on hotel rooms for people during their treatment. File image
‘UCLH uses this model of care successfully to treat patients who come to London from all over the country. We run our own patient hotel in partnership with UCLH Charity, with a significant cost saving when compared to an overnight hospital bed.’
An NHS England spokesman said: ‘The NHS will always assess the most appropriate way to care for and support patients.
‘Patients may be receiving very specialist care, or care that means that they need to be seen by a clinician on a very regular basis for a short period of time.
‘In these circumstances hotels are a cost-effective solution to avoid expensive travel costs.
‘The solution also allows patients to spend more time with their loved ones and supports patients to have the quickest and best recovery possible.’
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