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Norfolk and Waveney care hotel set to open to help ease ongoing pressures

The Norfolk and Waveney health and care system is set to open a new innovative temporary care facility for people who are ready to leave hospital but need extra care support before they can get home.

It comes as the area’s health and care system remains in a ‘critical incident’ due to sustained and unprecedented pressures on services.

A new pilot care hotel will cater for up to 15 patients on a short-term basis for three months. The city-centre location hotel in Norwich will be temporarily used as an extra care facility for people who are ready to leave hospital but need extra care support before they can get home.

This means vital hospital beds can be freed up to support those who need inpatient care in a hospital setting.

The concept has been given the backing by the Norfolk and Waveney health and care system and is expected to open in the next few weeks.

There will be strict criteria around who is eligible for a bed and people with confirmed COVID-19 diagnosis or those displaying symptoms will not be suitable for the care hotel and will be cared for in more appropriate settings.

Care for people staying at the care hotel will be provided by trained carer staff from Abicare, a CQC registered provider, which has experience of delivering this service in other areas of the country.

Cath Byford, Chief Nurse at NHS Norfolk and Waveney Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) said: “Colleagues across our health and care system have been working tirelessly to ensure that people get the medical help they need as quickly and as safely as possible during this time of enormous pressure on our services.

“This innovative pilot will provide a short-term safe, ‘home from home’ environment for people to move to from hospital when they are well enough but when they are not quite ready to go home without support.

“This will help to speed up the passage of patients through our local hospitals so that we can make more beds available for those who need them most.

“This is the first time we have tried this new approach in Norfolk and Waveney, although the model has been used successfully in other regions. We would like to thank all our partners and colleagues for their support and assistance during this incredibly challenging time.”

Ms Byford added: “We continue to urge local people to please use NHS services wisely and if you require medical help, contact NHS 111 first online or over the phone.

“Our NHS remains open and it is vitally important that if you have serious concerns to seek help and in a serious medical emergency, such as symptoms of a heart attack or stroke, to call 999.

“Getting your COVID-19 vaccination is the best way to protect yourself and reduce the risk of hospital admission. We continue to urge people to keep up the basics with thorough hand washing, wearing face coverings and ventilating rooms as much as possible - this also helps protect people against other seasonal bugs such as norovirus and flu.

“We want to thank all our staff for going above and beyond during an extremely difficult and demanding time for the NHS.”

Anne-Marie Perry, managing director of Abicare said: “Abicare are extremely proud to be helping the NHS in these challenging times. We are keen to help where we can and be flexible in our response to current challenges that exist in the system. We have over two years’ experience of running care hotels and we find their success depends on the cooperative collaborative approach adopted by CCGs such as Norfolk and Waveney. Care hotels are an excellent example of a proactive short-term solution that can be readily set up as they are needed utilising resources that exist within the community.”

ENDS

Notes to Editors

The system is still experiencing high levels of demand for health and care services and continues to urge local people to choose services wisely, and not to delay seeking help from the NHS if they feel unwell.

Local people can really make a difference by:

  • Helping loved ones who are well enough to leave hospital to recover at home or in another suitable care setting, meaning that hospital beds are freed up for those who really need them.
  • Only visiting Emergency Departments or calling 999 in the case of a genuine life-threatening emergency.

It is really important people do not delay seeking help from the NHS if they feel unwell. Our NHS remains open for business and it is vitally important that if people have serious conditions or concerns they seek help and in a serious medical emergency, such as symptoms of a heart attack or stroke, that they call 999.

Please continue to attend any pre-booked appointments unless you hear otherwise.

The best way to get the medical help you need is to think NHS 111 first. Phone NHS 111 or visit 111.nhs.uk for anything that feels urgent, or if you are unsure what to do. They can direct you to the most appropriate place. In life-threatening emergencies dial 999. Pharmacists can give expert and speedy help with minor ailments. They can also provide over the counter remedies for minor health conditions.

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