The UK’s National Health Service (NHS) reportedly has plans to transfer thousands of non-critical Covid-19 patients to care homes or hotels to free up beds for critical Covid-19 patients needing life-or-death care.
The NHS has come up with this “extra emergency contingency” plan to help curb the more contagious coronavirus variant as the health service is under immense pressure, with UK mortality figures due to Covid-19 crossing 81,960, the highest Covid-19 death toll in Europe, reported The Guardian.
Patients not showing any new coronavirus symptoms and have been in isolation for a fortnight will be sent to care homes, hotels or their own homes. However, many care homes warn against such an exercise, calling it a “grave mistake”.
It is reported that many hospitals will also be sending non-critical coronavirus patients to hotels, under the “home and hotel” plan.
Under this plan, patients will receive help and care from the volunteering healthcare organisations such as British Red Cross, St John Ambulance, and medical personnel from the armed forces.
South London’s King’s College hospital stated that only those Covid-19 patients who have overcome the “acutely unwell” stage are being discharged to hotel care.
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A spokesperson of King’s College hospital was quoted by the publication as saying: “To create capacity in the hospital to care for the high number of patients requiring admission, we have partnered with a local hotel to temporarily accommodate mainly homeless patients who are ready to safely leave hospital and will benefit from further support from community partners.”
A part of the London Hotel Group (LHG), Croydon’s Best Western hotel is reported to have already begun welcoming homeless Covid-19 -positive patients from King’s College hospital in south London.
Best Western stated that it can provide accommodation for 5,000 more non-critical patients, reported Daily Mail.
Speaking to Sky News, UK Health Secretary Matt Hancock said: “There are huge pressures on the NHS and we would only ever do that if it was clinically the right thing for somebody. In some cases, people need sit-down care; they don’t actually need to be in a hospital bed.”
British Prime Minister Boris Johnson pledged around-the-clock coronavirus vaccine programme as the country hastens inoculation efforts, especially to the vulnerable.