Last updated 20 March 2023
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In a first for Greater Manchester, house owners in Stockport are being invited to open their doors and offer short term care to help free up vital hospital beds and relieve pressure on the NHS.
Cambridge based CareRooms.com is looking to set up a network of Hosts in and around the town, who will be paid to provide a homely environment to help people recover after being discharged from hospital.
All you need is a spare room and time for a cup of tea and a chat with Guests who may be with you for a short stay of up to 14 nights. Hosts can work flexibly around their existing commitments but are asked to serve three meals a day (provided by CareRooms.com so no cooking involved).
The community initiative aims to ease a nationwide shortfall in social care, with patients unable to leave hospital because of a lack of suitable care in available community facilities, an issue that is seen nationwide.
“We are trying to help set up modern day convalescence in communities like Stockport where resources are being stretched to their limits,” said Lizzie Gaudin, Chief Operations Officer at CareRooms.com
“People lose confidence after being ill, especially if they have no support at home, or they may be younger and a nursing home with elderly residents may not be appropriate for that transition period between hospital and home.
A short stay with a Host in their community aids recovery by giving Guests the boost in confidence they need to return to independent living.
We work closely with NHS Discharge Managers, doctors and nurses to enable everyone to access the service. For Hosts, the greatest satisfaction lies in supporting others and offering companionship to create communities that care” added Lizzie.
Potential Hosts will be vetted, interviewed and DBS checked as part of CareRooms.com stringent safeguarding measures. They also provide a comprehensive training and support package and will only accept Guests who are suitable for this type of environment.
The latest telecare and monitoring equipment is fitted in the rooms to ensure Guests’ vital signs are checked constantly, and there is 24-hour a day video access to a GP service. For those needing an element of personal care, this will be provided by CareRooms.com or their local partner.
CareRooms.com has already been utilised across the South East and North Yorkshire.
"Being a Host at CareRooms has given me the opportunity to continue to look after others in the comfort of my own home," said retired carer Julie Ann, Host in North Yorkshire.
"We need the people of Stockport to help make this a success and I hope that they will open their homes not just to help people living in and around the town but also to relieve the shortage of beds which is affecting the level of health care that can be offered in the area, your spare room can help the NHS," said Lizzie.
The approach is being commended by Stockport Council.
Councillor Keith Holloway, Cabinet Member for Health & Adult Social Care at Stockport Council, said: "This initiative for Greater Manchester could provide an innovative way of helping those who need a bit of extra support when they leave hospital. Rather than having to wait for a short-term nursing home place to become available, this will be a less institutionalised way of supporting people during their ongoing recovery and where they can be cared for by a well-trained member of the community in a safe and secure environment. It will also ensure that hospital beds in Stockport can be used for the patients in the most acute need."
If you’d like to become a Host or to find out more information, please contact: 0333 121 2227 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.