During the pandemic, there has undoubtedly been an enormous strain on the NHS, no more so than now! Currently there are 35,000 COVID patients in hospital with critical care beds running out.
Businesses have also suffered, hospitality is one of the hardest hit, and yet the resilience and resourcefulness it has shown has been phenomenal, from adapting rooms to accommodate more diners, to turning rooms into spaces for working out. Now we have gone into yet another lockdown they are offering out rooms for free to the NHS to help with the shortfall of beds available. The rooms could also be used to accommodate staff as the pandemic spreads.
Many of the major UK hotel chains, such as Best Western Great Britain, Holiday Inn, Hilton, Whitbread’s Premiere Inn chain and Travelodge are talking with the Government to try to organise the logistics of closing these hotels to the public. If this is possible, they can make them available to vulnerable groups most at risk of contracting the virus, as well as patients who no longer need their hospital bed, but do need to continue receiving care.
Speaking on BBC Breakfast, Matt Hancock said in response to a question about the mounting pressure on the NHS and reports hotels may be used to allow hospitals to release patients early, “there are huge pressures on the NHS, and as you’d expect we’re looking to all different ways that we relieve those pressures.
“The NHS London Nightingale is there as back up, but of course we have plans in case there’s more that’s needed. Now we would only ever do that if it was clinically the right thing for somebody, but in some cases, people need set down care, they don’t actually need to be in a hospital bed
“We look at all options, so this isn’t a concrete proposal by any means, but it is something that we are looking at”
This is a remarkable thing for these hotels to do. Even though hospitality is facing so many difficulties, it is still stepping up and helping wherever it can to combat this virus and support our NHS. Thank you to all the hotels taking part in this initiative, we are so proud to be working within the hospitality industry right now.