Best Western GB chief executive Rob Paterson has said he expects "about a dozen" of the group's member hotels to be turned into care facilities for recovering Covid-19 patients to free up hospital beds.
Best Western was the first to volunteer its hotels earlier this year when stark figures emerged regarding the NHS' capacity to cope with the outbreak of coronavirus.
The membership organisation of independent hotels across the UK offered 15,000 bedrooms (representing more than 90% of the group's member hotels) and more than 1,000 meeting rooms to help take the strain off hospital wards.
In an interview with The Caterer, Paterson said that although local authorities and NHS trusts have engaged with the group, fortunately most of these were not required. However, in areas that now have a large backlog of patients requiring hospital treatments not relating to Covid-19, their bedrooms could be used to support patients recovering from coronavirus who are not yet ready to return home.
He said: "I suspect we've probably got about a dozen sites that will move in that direction. But they're [for patients] considered very low-risk because the hotel environment is not conducive for being a care environment."
Around 230 of the group's hotels are currently closed, with approximately 51 remaining open to support key workers and the NHS. Two Best Western hotels in Dorset were the first in the UK to be turned into discharge hospitals to support low-risk patients and care workers.
Read the full interview in this week's magazine.
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