Hotel accommodation: NHS policy for staff who wish to isolate
20 March letter from NHS England and NHS Improvement
NHS England and NHS Improvement
NHS staff – hotel accommodation
Setting out the support
Simon Stevens and Amanda Pritchard sent a letter to all NHS senior leaders on 17 March setting out the steps that are being taken to support the NHS response to COVID-19. Part of that letter said:
Support our staff, and maximise staff availability
b) For those staff affected by PHE’s 14 day household isolation policy, staff should –on an entirely voluntary basis –be offered the alternative option of staying in NHS-reimbursed hotel accommodation while they continue to work.
NHS England and NHS Improvement have established a single process for NHS staff to secure accommodation at hotels within their immediate area, if they have been affected by COVID-19 in some way.
The national response provides easy access to staff and while initially it will be a single phone number, in due course it will also be available via an online portal.
Details on accessing the service are on the next slide, and the expectation is that the following staff groups should be provided support:
•NHS staff who, as per the letter of 17 March, need hotel accommodation
•NHS staff whose family members are self-isolating and staff are not able to return home
•NHS staff who require emergency accommodation due to urgent response or mitigating factors
•Clinical Commissioning Groups can also provide accommodation to locum GPs/GPs and Community Interest Company staff who are contracted to provide clinical services on a request and exception basis
Central booking system
NHS staff who require accommodation at a hotel should:
Confirm with their line manager that accommodation is required; the line manager should then inform the relevant finance team that bookings are being made so that this can be tracked by finance teams.
Contact CTM call centre on 01274 726424 (choosing ‘Hotel team’, then ‘Option 1’).
The booker should then be prepared to provide:
•Project code: NHS Support
•Telephone number for emergency
•Email address for confirmation
•Organisation cost code
Corporate Travel Management - CTM
The supplier of the service is CTM. In due course, an online booking system will be made available in addition to the phone number.
CTM has national agreements with a wide number of hotel operators across the country. They will be able to confirm availability at hotels as close to the required location as possible, however, certain conditions will apply:
•Hotels should be informed as soon as possible if rooms are going to be cancelled, or room stays are being extended
•Standard NHS England charges apply: outside of London the budget is £100 per night, within London £150 per night
•We are working with hotels so that over the next few weeks as many rooms as possible come with food included in the room rate
•Where food is currently not included, or where there are additional expenses for meals or sundry items, please agree with your line manager and direct this to your employer rather than adding it to the hotel bill.
•Hotels booked outside of this process will not be paid for through central finance
•The cost of the rooms will be paid on a central basis, but charged to the organisation’s cost code connected to the COVID-19 response.
Guidance for staff
Hotel accommodation will be available to a range of health bodies and therefore members of staff of a number of organisations will be sharing common areas within the hotels. This may obviously increase the risk of passing the virus between healthcare colleagues working in different environments. We are therefore requesting that where possible staff:
•Minimise time in communal areas of the hotel including receptions and corridors to reduce risk of infection to colleagues.
•Where possible, to limit to 1 or 2 people at a time in lifts where possible, or to use the stairs if appropriate.
•Ideally eat in your room. If meals are provided within the hotel, please try to sit at tables at least 2 metres apart from other residents in any bar or restaurant.
•We will be working with the hotels and providing guidance so they are aware of this and are working to support you.
•We will update this hotel guidance pack and systems in due course, including a web portal to make online bookings.