Advanced search

NHS bed crisis solved, thanks to AirBnB ...

(20 Posts)
LurkingHusband Wed 25-Oct-17 15:43:28

or not ...

Exclusive: Airbnb style company bids to place NHS patients in spare rooms

Members of the public with no care experience are being offered up to £1,000 a month to rent spare rooms to patients after they are discharged from hospital, under an Airbnb style model to be piloted by the NHS.


Luckily, there's absolutely nothing that could go wrong.

PerkingFaintly Wed 25-Oct-17 15:47:25


What sort of dischargees are we talking about here? Why aren't they being discharged to their own homes?

PerkingFaintly Wed 25-Oct-17 15:48:25

Article's paywalled - could you summarise?

LurkingHusband Wed 25-Oct-17 15:56:24

Article's paywalled - could you summarise?

Here ...

The NHS has been criticised over plans for an "Airbnb"-style scheme in which homeowners will be paid £1,000 a month to host patients in their spare rooms.

Startup CareRooms is working with trusts and councils in Essex. Folks who sign up are asked to cook three microwave meals for their patient each day, provide them with drinks and "offer conversation" - although no care experience is required.

CareRooms medical director Harry Thirkettle, a part-time emergency registrar in Essex, told Health Service Journal, which broke the story: "Everyone’s immediate concern is, understandably, safeguarding. We are working hard to be better than standard practice.

"We are not going off half-cocked… We are not going to start taking on patients until we have satisfied all these different organisations' governance procedures and committees. We are really carefully considering this and making sure it is as safe as possible."

The blurb on CareRooms reads: "We are working with the local health and care community to provide a safe, comfortable place for people to recuperate from hospital.

"To do this, we are transforming spare rooms and annexes into secure care spaces for patients who are waiting to be discharged.

"All you need is a spare bedroom or annex with easy access to a private bathroom."

However, Save South A&E campaign said it was concerned that the company had been handing out flyers in Southend Hospital.

"We are shocked that an NHS trust is endorsing such a company," said a spokesman.”

The Association of Directors of Adult Social Services, a charity that aims to improve social care across the UK, said the model of care raises questions about whether the safety and well-being of the individual have been fully considered.

It seems some government policy-makers are obsessed with the so-called sharing economy model. Jonathan Salter, permanent secretary at the Department for Education, has previously said there ought to be an "Uber for supply teachers".

The Register has asked NHS England for a comment.

PerkingFaintly Wed 25-Oct-17 16:40:37

I know some hospitals have been working with proper care homes, to take short-term residents who no longer need hospital care but don't yet have care packages to enable them to return to their own homes.

But... farming vulnerable people out to spare rooms... The unqualified hosts aren't even required to produce proper meals, just microwaved crap.

I know abuse happens in care homes and hospitals, but this takes the biscuit. An unwell person would be completely isolated, and could be completely controlled by a host.

MovingOnUpMovingOnOut Wed 25-Oct-17 16:42:08

That looks like made up story. A joke.


waxmytash Wed 25-Oct-17 17:49:03

This scheme may actually work for some cases .

NHS trusts get fined when patients in ED breech waiting times for beds - when our trust declares a 'black alert' (no beds) all hell brakes loose trying to free up beds.

I work in NHS bed management and there are all sorts of reasons why someone can't be discharged including unsuitable accommodation - ie flat with no lift & patient is now a wheelchair user,property needs a deep clean before a care package can be out in place,homeless patients who cannot be discharged to hostel accommodation (or streets) etc.Oh and the relative who thought a patient should stay in a £330 per night hospital bed until a (planned) bathroom refit had been finished as it would be too noisy and dusty for a very sprightly & mobile 70 year old........

PerkingFaintly Wed 25-Oct-17 18:16:31

Hence the agreements some trusts have made with proper care homes. Not "spare rooms" of randomers.

PerkingFaintly Wed 25-Oct-17 18:29:09

More details now available here:

"He said hosts would face robust checks involving interviews and disclosure and barring service checks. They would also be required to complete training to ensure their understanding of the Mental Capacity Act and food hygiene and cleanliness standards.

"The financial model is still to be finalised. Thirkettle said rooms would be rented out to funders at about £100 a night, with half going to the host. The rest would be used to pay for the care services required and a margin kept by the company as profit."

So, the microwave meals will involve with training (unspecified) on food hygiene.

As the OP said, what could possibly go wrong?

Mishappening Wed 25-Oct-17 18:33:56

Oh dear. Beggars belief. We seem unable to police the behaviour of staff in residential and nursing homes - how on earth is this to be properly scrutinised?

Itsanicehotel Thu 26-Oct-17 06:35:09

If this were 1 April I would have bet money on this being the joke item in the news.
As OP says, what could possibly go wrong?
It would definitely cut down the alarming readmission statistics as half the ‘guests’ will have snuffed it thanks to hosts like retired admin assistant, Mr&Mrs Clark, failing to spot incipient sepsis.

kalinkafoxtrot45 Thu 26-Oct-17 06:40:03

Is it April 1st?

Itsanicehotel Thu 26-Oct-17 06:46:28

I’m so taken aback by this ‘idea’, I’ve started a thread in chat, on the basis I want to be sure I’m not missing something here and see if anyone thinks it’s viable.

Wormulonian Thu 26-Oct-17 10:02:36

We seem to be going back in time. In the 1970's I had two friends whose mum's did something similar. One had a mum who was a nurse and a builder dad, they extended their bungalow and took in 4 elderly "paying guests" by the end of the 80's they had a multimillion care home empire as the NHS/council run care homes (which had much better conditions for residents and staff) were closed. The other friend's mum bought a lovely seafront Victorian house that had been a hotel -s he tried to run it as such but couldn't make it work and like Basil Fawlty had elderly "residents" on a much reduced rate as a core income.

However, I can't imagine that many people who happen to have a spare room with a private bathroom would want/need to have a still infirm/ill stranger come to stay who may require care (despite what the company say). I think this may be one of those "out there" ideas that is floated to gauge public reaction to assess for something else or butter us up for a less worse "solution" to a problem. Perhaps the idea of privately paying for convalesent care. The safeguarding issues with this are insurmountable I would think - dreadful!

The government needs to look at providing the "halfway" facilities they used to have (before they sold them off at a pittance). My Great Aunt stayed at an NHS centre about 15 years ago after an operation. It had quite large single sex wards but lots of care staff, a few nurses and a duty doctor, a day room, garden etc. It was for elderly people who didn't need full hospital facilities but still ongoing "care" and monitoring of wounds, medication etc.

She was also shuffled off to a not very nice B&B next to the hospital once when discharged but still needed daily out patient care. She was not warned about this and I went and took her home and drove her to the hospital each day instead.

PerkingFaintly Thu 26-Oct-17 12:46:24

Southend Hospital backs off 'Airbnb beds' plan

"The hospital had previously said "only preliminary discussions" had been held, but has since clarified the pilot would not be supported until certain criteria had been met."

PerkingFaintly Thu 26-Oct-17 12:48:23

Not wonderful that the company was already handing out flyers in Southend Hospital.

Also, that's a Not Yet rather than a No.

LouiseBrooks Thu 26-Oct-17 12:55:59

Why aren't they being discharged to their own homes?

Because they're not fit to be left alone I imagine.

PerkingFaintly Thu 26-Oct-17 13:08:59

This is why I asked.

There's a perfectly reasonable list of why people can't be discharged to their own homes, some of which waxmytash gave above.

If someone can't be left alone then AirBnB is not going to be a suitable solution. A lone host can't reasonably be required to be in all time, and how on earth would that be monitored anyway?

If someone needs constant checking, a convalescent home will be better. If they don't, being in their own home with carers coming in may well be better. Why pay to place them in a strange environment away from all their clothes/belongings and away from their friends and neighbours?

PerkingFaintly Sun 29-Oct-17 16:55:47

NHS Airbnb-style scheme 'not ruled out' by minister

"Mr Dunne added that the idea had involved 'people who may have had minor procedures who need a bit of help'. It could also include B&B owners who were already medically trained and could offer accommodation, he said."

I'd be more comfortable with established B&B owners who rely on ordinary, non-vulnerable consumers as their main business.

Thinking about which makes me see the original idea as even more dodgy: if someone's so keen to make money by having house guests, why aren't they already running a B&B, ordinary AirBnB or taking a lodger?

Any host attracted by the idea of only having a vulnerable, housebound person, with no one else coming in and out, makes me very hmm indeed.

Andreafee Tue 02-Jan-18 20:24:12

I think this is a great idea, I’m a landlord, who rents out property and I have had bad tenants who have trashed my property, so that now I am looking to find new avenues to go down to have the confidence to carry on with this business. Most landlords are very reputable from my experience and go out of ther way to help their tenants. Please support us and our businesses,so that all may benefit in the long run. There is always going to be a few people landlords, tenants etc., that will spoil it for the rest, thats unfortunately the way of the world at the moment.

Join the discussion

Registering is free, easy, and means you can join in the discussion, watch threads, get discounts, win prizes and lots more.

Register now »

Already registered? Log in with: