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Hospitals send cancer patients to hotels

24 November 2005

London hospitals are sending cancer sufferers to local hotels to save costs and reduce the risks of patients catching infections such as MRSA.

More than 100 patients from the University College Hospital, the Royal London Homeopathic Hospital and the National Hospital for Neurology and Neurosurgery are being put up in the Radisson Edwardian Grafton, the Bloomsbury Holiday Inn and the Imperial hotel.

Hotel rooms at these properties normally range from £70 to £150, but this still saves the NHS money. Beds on cancer wards are believed to cost between £500 and £600 a night.

The project is being piloted by the NHS trust, which plans to extend the scheme if it proves successful.

John Bamsey, chief operating officer of InterContinental Hotels Group, Holiday Inn's owner, said he welcomed patients to the hotels: "We negotiate the rates with the hospitals as we would any other contract and view it as a good source of local business."

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