London hospital opens 35-room boutique hotel for cancer patients

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28 September 2012 | Updated 28 September 2012

UK: The Cotton Rooms, a four-star boutique hotel has been opened to provide accommodation for cancer patients at University College Hospital.

The venture is the first of its kind in the National Health Service and is designed to help patients retain their independence while undergoing clinical tests and treatments.

Developed by UCLH Charity, it is an alternative facility for patients at University College London Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust (UCLH) who would normally be put up in local hotels. UCLH was the pioneer of this type of care within the UK, allowing cancer patients to stay in a nearby hotel, free of charge, instead of in hospital which is around three times more expensive.

It is known as ambulatory care, and patients who receive this treatment are monitored every day. All guest rooms have telephones with direct lines to the hospital switchboard.

The development of The Cotton Rooms, which is managed by Interserve, was funded by charitable donations. GM Eros Trevisan has worked at several private hotels in the UK and abroad, including Marco Pierre White's hotel and restaurant in Camberley.

Kirit Ardeshna , consultant hematologist and clinical lead for the Cancer Centre, said: "It is a successful and alternative way of delivering treatments to cancer patients who would historically have been kept in hospital unnecessarily. These patients are undergoing treatments including bone marrow transplants and high dose chemotherapy. Patients are overwhelmingly positive about the service as it gives them the freedom to carry on with a 'normal' life in an environment where family and children can stay with them. All patients must meet strict criteria and if our medical teams consider that a patient needs to be admitted to hospital then a hospital bed is always provided."

Philip Brading, chief executive of UCLH Charity, said: "The hotel will be very welcoming and while the focus will be firmly on the patient we have replicated a good quality four-star hotel and will also be able to accommodate other health related staff and personnel when the occasions arise. Just recently the hotel accommodated staff on duty in the hospital during the Olympics. We called it The Cotton Rooms for that reason - we want people to feel warm and well looked after."

www.uclh.nhs.uk

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