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NHS England online hotel room booking service will be available to GPs

GPs can opt to stay in an NHS-funded hotel if anyone in their household develops coronavirus (Covid-19) symptoms to enable them to remain at work.

NHS England said a web portal would soon be available to make online booking possible.

It was initially unclear if GPs were included in this support.

But Pulse has learned that the NHS England scheme will include GPs – and locum GPs – affected by the coronavirus isolation policy.

The offer of hotel accommodation was put forward by NHS England in response to concerns that Public Health England’s 14-day household isolation policy would lead to staff shortages at a time of unprecedented pressure for the NHS.

The plans were detailed in a letter sent by NHS England to all NHS leaders, outlining the steps to support the NHS response to the Covid-19 crisis.

NHS England has since set out further details of the plans which state that CCGs can also provide accommodation to locum GPs and GPs.

NHS Clinical Commissioners told Pulse that GPs should contact their local CCG’s incident control centre for advice on how to make use of the hotel accommodation offered during the coronavirus outbreak.

NHS England added a note of caution in the hotel booking guidelines.

It said: ‘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’.

They asked staff to minimise contact with colleagues in communal areas and if possible, to eat in their rooms.