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Medequip, one of the major outsourced community equipment service (CES) providers to the NHS and local authorities, has helped set up a care hotel project in Bristol to help patients recover following a stay in hospital.

Luke Derrick, Medequip Operations Manager, said that the project – set up at The Bristol Hotel – could house up to 35 patients post-discharge.

After Medequip was contacted by Bristol Community Equipment Service (BCES) for support to set up the care hotel on 7th December 2021, the project had 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.

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Luke explained: “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 the 20th of December.”

The care hotel is designed to ease pressure off local NHS services by freeing up hospital beds amid rising coronavirus cases in the area. It has live-in staff who are on hand to provide round-the-clock care.

Emersons Depot Technician Team Leader Joe Parker expedited a team of people to assist with the implementation.

The essential independent living equipment was in place for the care hotel to go live on the 20th of December as planned, Luke added.

Tom Lander, Commissioner for BCES, spoke about the efforts of Medequip in getting the care hotel running.

He said: “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.”

Other NHS organisations have also been trialling similar care hotel projects to free up hospital space. Both NHS Norfolk and Waveney Clinical Commissioning Group, and Bath and North East Somerset, Swindon and Wiltshire Clinical Commissioning Group have recently set up temporary care hotels to ensure people still get the care they need post-discharge.

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