Norfolk's 'care hotel' to close after three months

The Holiday Inn in Ipswich Road, Norwich, is being used as a care hotel

The Holiday Inn in Ipswich Road, Norwich. Inset, Cath Byford, chief nurse of Norfolk and Waveney CCG - Credit: Archant

A trial project which has seen patients receiving hospital treatment at a Holiday Inn on the outskirts of Norwich is due to stop at the end of the month.

The so-called 'care hotel' was established in a wing of the Ipswich Road site in February, in an effort to ease the strain on hospitals.

The service has seen patients who are ready for hospital discharge stay in the hotel and receive care while they wait for home care arrangements to be made - with spaces made available for 15 patients at a time.

The facility has been staffed by personnel from a Salisbury-based firm called Abicare, so as not to draw resources away from other NHS sites.

However, as of Friday, new patients will not be admitted to the 'care hotel', with the service due to end on April 30.

A spokesperson for the Norfolk and Waveney Clinical Commissioning Group said: "The pilot care hotel initiative was launched in February as a short-term measure to help relieve pressures in hospitals by providing an innovative, temporary care facility for people who are ready to leave hospital but need additional care support arranged in the community before they can get home.

"This has helped to speed up the passage of patients through our local hospitals and freed up beds for those that need more urgent medical treatment."

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It has not been revealed at this stage how many patients have been treated over the course of the three month period and neither has the CCG revealed details of cost.

However, bosses say the trial has made a difference.

The spokesperson added: "The service will finish on April 30 following a successful three-month pilot.

"There are currently no plans to continue beyond this date, however the facility has received positive feedback from patients, their families and carers, and will be considered for future use if required."

Following the closure of the service, the CCG will carry out a full evaluation into how the pilot went, the experiences patients had and analyse any statistics around the difference it made.

Speaking last month, Cath Byford, chief nurse of the CCG, told its board of directors she was "really pleased" with how the trial was going."