NHS considers launching Airbnb scheme to cope with bed shortages

From the Guardian: Patients recovering from surgery could be discharged from hospital to recuperate in private houses nearby as part of an NHS trial.

The scheme, which is being piloted in Essex, aims to tackle bed shortages and save money but has been criticised by medical professionals and social workers who warn it would give too much responsibility to untrained members of the public.

Hosts would be asked to welcome patients recovering minor procedures, cook three microwave meals a day and offer conversation, according to the startup company CareRooms, in a scheme targeting people who do not have a family able to care for them.

The Save Southend A&E campaign group, whose members include doctors and other clinicians, warned it “opens a huge can of worms for safeguarding, governance and possible financial and emotional abuse of people at their most vulnerable time”.

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.

[Read full article on the Guardian website…]