‘Airbnb for NHS’ to offer patients mobility aids

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The NHS has drawn up plans for patients to stay in people’s homes while they rehabilitate in an Airbnb-style scheme which is designed to ease pressure on hospital wards.

The scheme would give hosts £50 a day to care for a patient and would offer them specialist beds and furnishings, mobility aids, fall detection, patient safety monitoring, a private bathroom and door sensors. It is specifically looking to cater for patients who have mobility issues.

There are plans for a trial in Essex for 30 patients to be housed in a spare room in the area. Hosts are being recruited by a company called CareRooms and do not require any previous care experience. CareRooms has a partnership deal with mobility provider NRS Healthcare to supply it with equipment.

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CareRooms reportedly said it will transform spare rooms and annexes with a private bathroom into “secure care spaces for patients who are waiting to be discharged”.

Dr Harry Thirkettle, co-founder and chief medical officer for the website, told the Evening Standard that the company is that it is looking to find patients who are medically fit for discharge, who don’t have any cognitive impairments.

“The reason they would come to us is because they either live alone and don’t have support or they have mobility issues.

“So you can imagine someone who had a leg fracture and is unable to go up and down their stairs, so until that fracture is healed they could come to us and stay in a ground floor accommodation. The aim is to match the right patient to the right room.”

Concerns have been raised over the scheme and the safety of patients by an NHS England spokesman said that the scheme is a long way from being implemented.

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