This Week's Herman Trend Alert

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  The Herman Trend Alert

May 8, 2013

Hospital Hotels

Responding to over-crowded hospitals, the very public National Health Service in the United Kingdom plans to begin accommodating their recovering patients in public hotels. This new plan is expected to ease pressure on hospital beds.

Modeled after a system widely used in Scandinavia, where large hotel chains run the service on hospital sites, these hospital hotels will provide en-suite facilities, television and room service for the elderly, new mothers, and stroke victims. According to the Innovation Unit think tank, patient hotels in Norway and Denmark save up to 60 percent of the cost of accommodating a patient in a hospital ward.

According to a report in the London's Daily Telegraph under government plans to ease so-called "bed blocking" on NHS wards, these 'Hospital Hotels' will provide rooms for 30,000 elderly patients recovering from illnesses or falls. "Bed blocking" concerns patients, many of them elderly, who no longer need the attention of a hospital-provided medical specialist, but who still need more support than can be given at home. In the United States, many hospitals have resorted to forwarding their recovering seniors to a new type of rehab facility, offering differing levels of patient care.

Featuring more flexible visiting hours for family members than in a hospital, relations will be able to stay in nearby rooms. The system would save the health service tens of millions of pounds, besides allowing family members close access. According to government estimates, such a patient costs the NHS about 260 a day.

In the UK, chains such as Travelodge and Choice Hotels could be approached to collaborate on these developments. In the United States, Marriott and Hilton already operate hotels for patients and families attending nearby medical facilities and Marriott operates a chain of nursing homes called "Brighton Gardens".

In the United States, many patient-centered hospitals have been studying the customer service attitudes of hotels for years. Once adopted on a more global scale, this development could bolster the hospitality industry, while reducing costs for governments and patients alike. The critical challenge for the hotel industry will be sourcing staff and we expect to see the chains placing even more emphasis on training and development than they already are.


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