Four-star hotel in Bristol to open up as ‘care facility’ to free up hospital beds

Up to 30 patients will stay at the boutique hotel in en-suite rooms with support from live-in carers

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A four-star hotel in Bristol will be the site of a makeshift ‘care facility’ to relieve pressure on the city region’s hospitals facing exceptional demand for services.

Up to 30 patients will be moved to The Bristol Hotel from hospitals in Bristol, North Somerset and South Gloucestershire from tomorrow.

Supported by live-in carers, their relocation will free up hospital beds at a time health bosses say they are ‘facing significant service pressures’.

The hotel will remain open for paying guests with patients, who will each have their own en-suite room, kept separately in the city centre building.

Three other similar ‘care hotels’ are operating in the south of England, including in Plymouth.

The Bristol Hotel will be used as a care facility to relieve pressure on nearby hospitalsThe Bristol Hotel will be used as a care facility to relieve pressure on nearby hospitals
The Bristol Hotel will be used as a care facility to relieve pressure on nearby hospitals

The move comes after a letter from NHS England’s chief executive, Amanda Pritchard, and medical director Prof Stephen Powis, urged hospitals to discharge as many patients as possible due to a rise in Covid cases.

At the same time, Bristol’s healthcare system remains at ‘Opel 4’, its highest stage of alert, with rising Omicron cases adding further strain in the recent weeks -the last count of confirmed cases of the variant on December 15 was 119.

Care hotels run elsewhere have led to questions about level of care, as hotels are not as equipped as hospitals or care homes.

However, the patients relocated will have been judged as well enough to leave hospital.

Dr Peter Brindle, medical director at NHS Bristol, North Somerset & South Gloucestershire Clinical Commissioning Group, said the care facility would improve flow through the hospitals and could even improve ambulance response times.

He added: “We don’t want people to be in a hospital bed any longer than they need to be, and the opening of the new care facility is one of the steps we have taken to support people’s ongoing recovery in a more appropriate environment.

“Like every area of the country, we are facing significant service pressures at the moment.

“As a health and care partnership, we are focussed on making the best use of our resources and providing the right care for people at what is a very challenging time.

“We will be continuously reviewing the service, including taking on board the experience and feedback of people receiving care there.”

Homecare agency AbiCare will run the facility.

Its managing director, Anne-Marie Perry, said: “The hotel and care partnership model is running successfully in other parts of the country, and we have had excellent feedback from patients and families.

“We provide a caring and therapeutic environment for the people discharged to us – all of whom have low levels of care need, and may require additional rehabilitation or other support before they can return home.

“We are looking forward to welcoming people to the Bristol service for their ongoing recovery.”

Aside from opening the care facility, NHS groups in the area are also scaling up the vaccination programme with Prime Minister Boris Johnson wanting all adults to have been offered a booster jab by the end of the year.

Vaccinating as many people as possible is seen as the Government’s best chance of tackling the rise in cases and avoiding a lockdown.