This week’s news round-up features reports that plans to introduce an NHS ‘Airbnb’ scheme have been dropped following a backlash about the safety risks involved.
Elsewhere a new study has reported that an additional 280,000 non-emergency operations could be carried out each year if NHS schedules were organised better. This week’s round-up ends with slightly more positive news – more than £2000 has been raised for an elderly woman who was robbed whilst shopping in Aldi.
NHS ‘Airbnb’ Scrapped
Plans for an NHS version of Airbnb have been dropped following a negative response. Fears have been raised regarding the safety risks involved with such a scheme. This all began when a start-up company, CareRooms, began talks with NHS trusts and councils in Essex to link up members of the public with patients who have had a minor procedure, but live alone or have no family to help them.
The plans involved homeowners being offered £1000 to host recuperating patients in their spare rooms, similar to how Airbnb usually works. Southend Hospital have now said that they have no intention to support these plans.
The pilot scheme was due to see around 30 patients waiting for discharge from hospital stay with local residents who have a spare room or annex. CareRooms said that they would transform spare rooms and annexes with a private bathroom into “secure care spaces for patients who are waiting to be discharged.”
Tom Abell, deputy chief executive of Southend University Hospital NHS Foundation Trust, told The Telegraph:
“Whilst we welcome and encourage new ideas and innovation, there is no intention and there never has been for the hospital to support this pilot at this time. We will never compromise the safety and quality of care for patients and we will not support this pilot until the necessary safeguarding and quality arrangements are in place and there has been full engagement and discussion with our local communities on the proposal.”
On some days 6,000 patients are taking up beds across the NHS when they no longer require hospital treatment.
Additional operations could be carried out if schedules were better
A new study says that an additional 280,000 non-emergency operations could be carried out each year if NHS schedules were organised better. 100 NHS trusts were analysed during the study, and it was found that more than two hours a day were wasted on the average procedure list.
NHS Improvement, who carried out the study, say that this time was lost on avoidable factors such as late starts for operations that had been planned in advance – according to the BBC. Richard Kerr of the Royal College of Surgeons told the BBC:
“I think the NHS can always be more efficient and I think people have worked very hard to try to make it more efficient, but I don’t think those savings are going to resolve the ever-increasing demand that is being put on the health service.”
A total of 1.64m routine operations were carried out in 2016, the period analysed by the watchdog. They included surgical procedures on the ear, nose and throat, eye operations and orthopaedic medicine.
More than £2000 raised for elderly lady
More that £2000 has been raised, in under 24 hours, for an appeal set-up by a good Samaritan after an elderly lady had her purse stolen whilst shopping in a Shropshire supermarket. Amanda Williams created the funding page after hearing about the theft in the Oswestry Aldi store on Monday morning.
CCTV footage, which can be seen below, captures the moment where a man distracts the 87-year-old victim whilst another man reaches into her bag and steals her purse.
Ms Williams made the following statement on the Justgiving page:
“I would like to show this 87-year-old lady who was just doing her shopping that there is still some good in the world. This could be my nan, your nan, it’s not nice to happen to anyone.”
Police are searching for the suspects, who were described as Eastern European and in their 40s. The theft happened at the Aldi supermarket, in Oswald Road, at around 10.25am. One man is said to have short hair and was wearing a smart blue jacket, while the other was bald with glasses, stocky and wearing a black jacket.
Anyone with information on any of these crimes should call the police on 101. If you wish to donate, please visit the JustGiving page here.