UK Health Secretary Matt Hancock said Wednesday that authorities were considering putting Covid-19 patients in hotels as a “backup plan.”
It comes as the National Health Service (NHS) is facing intense pressure from a high number of Covid-19 cases.
“We are considering all the options, it isn't something that we're actively putting in place. But I would say that it would only ever happen if that was clinically right for any individual patient,” Hancock told BBC Breakfast.
“There is a lag from the number of cases, through to the number of people turning up in hospital. So we know that those pressures on the NHS are going to continue to build over the next couple of weeks because that lag from people catching coronavirus to ending up in hospital is between a weekend or two,” he added.
On hotels, Hancock said that, “It's obviously not what I want to do. And the NHS Nightingale hospitals are there as the backup,” referring to temporary hospitals established by NHS England as part of the response to the pandemic.
Asked which patients would be sent to hotels, the health secretary said it, “would be for step-down patients or patients who have been in hospital, who no longer need the full hospital treatment but aren't quite ready to go home.”