Four-star treatment for patients on the NHS

A Four-star hotel catering only for hospital patients has opened in London.

26 September 2012

The Cotton Rooms is the first of its kind in the NHS and has been built and funded by University College London Hospital’s charity.

The 35-bed hotel near Tottenham Court Road offers all the comforts of a good hotel — including fluffy towels, slippers and internet access — without charge.

Cancer patients undergoing chemotherapy on a daily basis will benefit as well as others who are undergoing tests at UCLH.

In the past, many patients have either endured long journeys home every night or stayed on a noisy ward or in nearby hotels alongside ordinary paying guests.

Now patients can receive hospital treatment during the day then check into the Cotton Rooms afterwards.

The idea is that people can live normal lives but with medical help on standby when needed.

Hospital trusts putting patients in hotel rooms instead of wards is not a new concept, but the Cotton Rooms is the first hotel targeted only at patients and not open to the public.

William Laughton, 25, is one of the first to check in and said it was better than a “clinical and sterile” hospital ward.

Mr Laughton, who is undergoing treatment for leukaemia, said: “My immune system is wiped out so going on public transport all the way back to my home in St Albans is not ideal.

“The Cotton Rooms are just a short walk away from the UCLH Macmillan Cancer Centre and it means I can be far more independent.

“The beds are much nicer than on a hospital ward as well.”

Philip Brading, chief executive of the UCLH Charity, said: “The hotel will be very welcoming. We called it the Cotton Rooms for that reason — we want people to feel warm and well looked after.”

There was controversy this year when a cancer sufferer died in a hotel room rented out by UCLH. Ian Curtis suffered a sudden infection while staying at the Radisson Edwardian Grafton Hotel and could not call for help.

But UCLH said that patients can only check into the Cotton Rooms after the go-ahead from doctors.

A care team is on call 24 hours a day and all guest rooms have telephones with direct lines to the hospital switchboard.

There is an alarm by the bedside in case of emergencies so patients can be readmitted to hospital at a moment’s notice.



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