Bristol Care Hotel

Assistive equipment supplier Medequip have been involved with a Care Hotel project that can house up to 35 people needing to recover following their release from hospitals in Bristol, North Somerset and South Gloucestershire.

In early December Bristol Community Equipment Services (BCES) contacted Medequip following the approval of a Care Hotel project being created in Bristol.

The move came after a letter from NHS England’s chief executive, Amanda Pritchard, and medical director Professor Stephen Powis, urged hospitals to discharge as many patients as possible due to a rise in Covid cases.

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The Bristol Hotel, a four-star hotel in Bristol was selected as the site of a makeshift ‘care facility’ to relieve pressure on the city region’s hospitals facing exceptional demand for services. The firm then worked towards a short deadline to get 35 rooms set up for patients to be released from local hospitals but who remain in a care-provided setting until they have recuperated enough to return home.

The Care Hotel has live-in staff who are on hand to provide round-the-clock care. The hotel will remain open for paying guests with patients, who will each have their own en-suite room, kept separately in the city centre building.

Luke Derrick, Medequip Operations Manager, commented: “We agreed to provide them with the service required. With an extensive list of equipment needing to be ordered, the depot and Medequip’s purchasing department had a very short time frame to install it.”

The initial requirement was for 75 pieces of equipment to be sent to the hotel. This included beds and mattresses (including bariatric specification products), over bed tables and commodes.”We were given two days to install, demonstrate and, in some cases, train the staff, some of whom were recruited from overseas to help. The hotel had to be open by 20 December 2021.”

Emersons Depot’s Technician Team Leader, Joe Parker expedited a team of people to assist with the implementation and the equipment was in place for the Care Hotel to go live on 20 December as planned.

Tom Lander, Commissioner for BCES, commented: “I am very grateful for the support of Luke, Joe, Atlanta and all others in the local team at Medequip, as well as Arijan, Jade and others in the Procurement team in head office. They have been key to the success of this unprecedented project.”

Medequip had short notice to procure all the equipment at a difficult time in the pandemic and the run-up to Christmas and New Year holidays. It was reassuring to know that everything was in place and carers trained in time for the first patients to arrive in the hotel.

Since the initial request, Medequip has provided more batches of equipment and will continue to deliver and collect from the hotel as the project progresses.

The last 18 months have seen some of the most challenging times for bed capacity planning and management in the NHS with current bed space already at a premium due to the ongoing COVID pandemic and a backlog of medical cases.

Last month it was announced that Norfolk and Waveney CCG had opened a care hotel for people who are ready to leave hospital but need extra care support before they can get home.

One of the longest-serving outsourced providers of community equipment services to the NHS and local authorities, Medequip last month took steps to broaden its customer base by joining forces with Dutch medical equipment group Medux.

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