The Cedar Court Hotel in Huddersfield has become the first UK hotel to transform into a care home for coronavirus patients and vulnerable people.
The ‘Nightingale’ care home opened its doors to patients last week, and will now accommodate the rising numbers of vulnerable individuals who are in need of care during the pandemic.
In a pilot scheme run by Calderdale council, the four-star hotel has now been transformed into a 113-bed care home after a three-week development project.
The site is now registered with the Care Quality Commission, and hotel staff who had previously been furloughed have now been trained in using PPE and infection control, working alongside 28 specialist carers.
Fiona Smith, Cedar Court’s home care manager, said: “This hotel will provide carers with some respite, or where a carer may no longer be able to provide the support needed.”
Iain Baines, the council’s director of adult services and wellbeing, added: “Councils across the country are starting to think about this sort of facility for those needing care.
“It was a major logistical exercise to get this set up in three weeks; typically it takes 18 months to two years.”
Robin Tuddenham, Calderdale council’s chief executive, said: “The scale of the challenge of Covid-19 in social care is much bigger than in the NHS, and not many people really understand that yet.
“The whole principle of the Nightingale hospitals was about surge capacity in the NHS. We need to start thinking about the care sector in the same way. We are in the midst of a second epidemic in social care.”
Wayne Topley, managing director of Cedar Court Hotels, added: “We are happy and proud to be supporting Calderdale council by providing temporary care for people whose usual care arrangements have temporarily broken down due to the coronavirus, or their usual carer is unwell.”
The scheme has been funded by the £6m allocated to Calderdale council as part of the £1.6bn government funding for local authorities during the ongoing pandemic.