Why not convert hotel beds into step-down beds?

Metro Health Hospital
Image by TheImageGroup via Flickr

The Irish Hoteliers Federation has in recent days called on the government to relieve some hoteliers of the tax penalties that would fall due should they exit the hospitality sector in order to reduce bed capacity. Meanwhile, many are concerned at the ability of our hospital sector to provide enough beds to deal with the pressures of swine flu.

We have a suggestion. Some of the excess bed capacity in the hotel industry can be cheaply and quickly recycled into step-down care for some of the elderly people in the acute hospitals. These are people who while no longer requiring the acute bed services of the hospital system lack the supports to immediately resume living independently. Short term leases could be quickly arranged to remove these excess hotel beds while providing us with non-acute beds in a relaxed communal environment. We believe this scheme could be further expanded should swine flu run rampant across the land, much as the passenger liner fleet was once converted in war time to serve as hospital ships.

On first reading this might sound like a joke but we believe simple practical solutions to practical problems don’t have to be dull.

PS. I’ve sent this to Madam to get the notion some sort of a profile. It sounds almost idiotic but it could well kill more than a single bird with the one stone.

The Puck Initiative, where our motto is “when all other solutions fail, try leaving your problem locked in a room with a wild mountain goat”
We do really need a good and proper name (a suggestion is the island to the the left of Iona) but for now the Puck Initiative will have to do to cover the various broad range of practical solutions to real practical problems we’re going to tackle.

‘Obvious solutions to Obvious Problems’ is another motto we’re toying with, and the concept behind that is that with some problems you just need to put your head down and take a right good run at it. The Catherine St. concept lab is still kept sparse but all we need for now is a pencil and paper (and needless amounts of computers and network connections will do for now.)

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