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UK News

Christian care home owner says NHS Airbnb idea is 'unacceptable'

by Eno Adeogun

On Thursday, it was reported a private company was in talks with a health trust to trial a scheme in Essex aimed at freeing up beds.

Under the scheme, so-called 'hosts' would need no care experience but could be paid £50 a night to offer Airbnb-style accommodation and three microwave meals a day.

Roslyn Anyanwu, a Christian and owner of Gentle Hands care home told Premier's News Hour her reaction to the idea.

She said: "Care is more than care. It's not just giving somebody breakfast or giving them food to eat. There is what is called duty of care for every carer.

"People with no experience should not go and care for anybody."

However, Southend University Hospital NHS Foundation Trust have released a statement saying there's never been a plan in place for it to be involved in a scheme and has insisted it will never compromise safety.

The NHS hospital also said it won't look at trialling the idea until necessary arrangements are in place.

Ministers were also urged to drop the "preposterous" trial scheme.

Labour former minister Lord Clark of Windermere warned that "vulnerable patients" would be allocated to homes where the host had no "medical expertise".

At question time, he said: "Won't the Government listen to the medical opinion and drop this preposterous scheme."

His sentiments were backed by Anyanwu who told Premier what she considered a better solution to the shortage of hospital beds.

She explained: "People should live in their own home environment and then the government should put enough support packages for them to be able to do that.

"Because in most cases, people are being released under a six-week assessment... NHS provides support for six-weeks, then what happens after six weeks?

The vulnerable person obviously makes a return to come back to the hospital again and that's not good."

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